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Qatar Frees Bahraini Sailors Held Up to Several Months
A watercraft from the Bahrain Harbor Control escorts the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman into the harbor in April 2016. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary Granger Jr.)

Qatar Frees Bahraini Sailors Held Up to Several Months

Authorities in Qatar released three Bahraini sailors and several Asian workers who were in its custody, for periods of time ranging from three days to several months.

The Qatari action on Thursday is the first move toward Bahrain since the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this month, during which a reconciliation agreement was signed to end 43 months of estrangement between Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt on one side, and Qatar on the other.

The Bahraini interior ministry in a statement announced the release of the three sailors, but noted that their boats were not released, and that Qatar is still holding 50 boats seized from Bahraini sailors.

The sailors will return to Bahrain via Oman, since direct flights have not been reinstated between Bahrain and Qatar, unlike with other countries that were part of the reconciliation agreement.

Media attacks between Bahrain and Qatar have continued even after the GCC summit, with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera and several Qatari newspapers publishing reports attacking Bahrain for its poor human rights record and labor conditions, while the Bahraini media attacked Qatari authorities, accusing them of obstinacy and unwillingness to reconcile with Bahrain.

On Monday, Bahrain invited Yemen to hold a bilateral dialogue to discuss outstanding issues between the two countries.

This holiday season, we ask you to give the gift of trusted news…

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you and best wishes to you and yours this holiday season.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

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