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Iran, Saudi to Exchange Diplomatic Visits
27 August 2017, 12:17 | Cedric Leonard
Qatar restores diplomatic ties to Iran amid regional crisis
Qatar recalled its ambassador to Tehran in January previous year after Saudi Arabia cut ties with the Islamic Republic, following angry protests held outside its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad against the kingdom's execution of senior Shiite cleric Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr.
Qatar foreign ministry official Ahmed bin Saeed al-Rumaihi said in a statement the emirate had decided "to close the Embassy of the Republic of Chad in Doha and to give diplomats and embassy staff 72 hours to leave the country".
"After the setup of the Gulf Cooperation Council in 1981 with the declared aim to coordinate foreign policies of six member states, which, in fact, was the coordination of their policies regarding Iraq's war against Iran, Qatar and Oman tried to maintain moderate relations with Tehran", he said.
The Qatari decision came as the push by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically nears its fourth month. Iran has provided support to the Qatari economy by allowing Qatar's national carrier to use its airspace and by sending fresh food supplies to Doha.
Qatar's official television station has counted almost 1,100 articles and 600 cartoons in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Bahrain's media, as well as 3,500 tweets by officials and journalists from those countries.
The boycotting countries later issued a list of 13 demands to Qatar, including that Doha shut its diplomatic posts in Iran.
Iran's Foreign Ministry did not immediately acknowledge the telephone call.
In announcing its decision, Qatar did not mention all that is ideologically common between Doha and the Gulf Arab nations, and how much it would now ideologically overlap with Tehran. The decision to return the ambassador comes amid a diplomatic dispute between Qatar and other Arab nations. On Wednesday, the Central African nation of Chad announced it would close its embassy in Doha, accusing Qatar of trying to destabilize it from neighboring Libya. Qatar long has denied funding extremists. Qatar ignored the demands and let a deadline to comply pass, creating an apparent stalemate in the crisis. Chad's diplomatic mission in Doha will be closed and all the personnel will be recalled. Attempts by Kuwait, the US and others have failed to make headway.
But Abdullah has no role in Qatar's government and his last position was as head of the equestrian and camel racing federation decades ago.
"Given that a formal escalation in terms of sanctions is probably off the table for now, we're seeing this informal pressure on Qatar.to try and perhaps stir the pot", the professor said.
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