Egypt, Qatar Hold First Meeting Since Embargo Lifted
Qatar on Tuesday continued its Mideast reconciliation tour, meeting with another country that has until recently boycotted it. Delegations from Doha and Cairo met in Kuwait, the first official diplomatic get together since the blockade on Qatar, put in place by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2017, was lifted last month. The meeting comes after a similar one between Qatar and the Emirates just the previous day, and the remaining reunions with Bahrain and the Saudis are expected to soon follow. After severing ties with Doha three years ago for its support of Iranian aggression in the region, leaders of the five nations on January 5 held a summit in the Saudi city of AlUla, in which they abruptly agreed to bury the hatchet. The embargo on Qatar was lifted and trade, travel and diplomatic relations were restored, but not much else was revealed to the public as details of the understandings, as well as the reasons for the sudden about-face, remain shrouded in secrecy. The change in White House administrations is believed to have accelerated the Gulf détente, as regional powers like Riyadh and Cairo look to get on the new president’s good side.