clearn.png
Saturday May 25th, 2019 3:17AM

Qatar restores diplomatic ties to Iran amid regional crisis

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar restored full diplomatic relations with Iran early Thursday, disregarding the demands of Arab nations now locked in a regional dispute with the energy-rich country that it lessen its ties to Tehran.

In announcing its decision, Qatar did not mention the diplomatic crisis roiling Gulf Arab nations since June, when Qatar found its land, sea and air routes cut off by its neighbors over Doha's policies across the Mideast.

However, the move comes just days after Saudi Arabia began promoting a Qatari royal family member whose branch of the family was ousted in a palace coup in 1972.

"Qatar has shown it is going to go in a different direction," said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University who lives in Seattle. "It could very well be calculated toward reinforcing the point that Qatar will not bow to this regional pressure placed upon it."

Qatar's Foreign Ministry announced early Thursday that the country's ambassador would return to Tehran. Qatar pulled its ambassador in early 2016 after Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric sparked attacks on two Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran, a move to show solidarity with the kingdom.

"The state of Qatar expressed its aspiration to strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields," a short Foreign Ministry statement said.

Iranian state media acknowledged the development, without elaborating.

Despite recalling its ambassador in 2016, Iran and Qatar maintained their valuable commercial ties. Qatar and Iran share a massive offshore natural gas field, called the South Pars Field by Tehran and the North Field by Doha.

That gas field's vast reserves made Qataris have the highest per capita income in the world, as well as funded the nation's Al-Jazeera satellite news network and secured hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Since the diplomatic dispute with Arab nations began in June, Iran has sent food shipments to Qatar. Shiite power Iran also has incorporated the crisis into its regular criticism of the Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, part of the two Mideast powers' long-running proxy war.

There was no immediate reaction from the Arab nations boycotting Qatar. 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.

The diplomatic crisis began June 5, when Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut ties to Qatar over allegations including it funding extremists and being too close to Iran. Qatar long has denied funding extremists.

The boycotting countries later issued a list of 13 demands to Qatar, including that Doha shut its diplomatic posts in Iran. Qatar ignored the demands and let a deadline to comply pass, creating an apparent stalemate in the crisis. Attempts by Kuwait, the U.S. and others have failed to make headway.

In recent days, however, Saudi Arabia announced it would allow Qataris to make the annual hajj pilgrimage, which is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their life. Saudi state media said that came in part due to an intercession by Qatari royal family member Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, who met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and later a vacationing King Salman in Morocco.

But Sheikh Abdullah has no role in Qatar's government and his last position was as head of the equestrian and camel racing federation decades ago. Sheikh Abdullah's grandfather, father and brother were rulers of Qatar until a palace coup ousted his branch of the royal family in 1972 and a prominent Saudi columnist has suggested the sheikh could be the start of a Qatari government-in-exile.

Ulrichsen cautioned that so far, the Saudi moves appeared to be more needling than anything else.

"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. "I think the informal pressure is increasing because of the lack of formal alternative measures they can realistically hope to place on Qatar."

___

Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap. His work can be found at http://apne.ws/2galNpz.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hill loses no-hit try on HR in 10th, Pirates top Dodgers 1-0
Dodgers lefty Rich Hill lost his perfect game on an error in the ninth inning, then lost his no-hitter on a leadoff home run in the 10th by Josh Harrison that sent the Pittsburgh Pirates over Los Angeles 1-0
11:35PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Sandbags, plywood, generators: Texas coast braces for Harvey
Former Tropical Storm Harvey erratically crawling toward Texas Gulf Coast, could become hurricane by landfall sometime Friday
11:29PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Wrapped: Charlottesville covers Confederate statues in black
Some onlookers cheered as workers in Charlottesville draped a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee with a black shroud on Wednesday
11:24PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Study: Arsenic poisoning a risk for 50M in Pakistan
A new study suggests some 50 million Pakistanis could be at risk of drinking arsenic-tainted groundwater
10:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
Thailand awaits verdict that could send former PM to prison
Thais anxiously await a verdict on charges accusing former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of negligence in implementing a rice subsidy estimated to have cost billions and that could send her to prison
9:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Thailand awaits verdict that could sent former PM to prison
Thais anxiously await a verdict on charges accusing former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of negligence in implementing a rice subsidy estimated to have cost billions and that could send her to prison
9:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
US families, friends of missing sailors proud, praying
U.S. families are awaiting word on missing seamen who were aboard the USS John McCain when it collided with an oil tanker Monday near Singapore
10:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
Tribal coalition joins blitz to save national monument areas
A tribal coalition has joined the blitz to stop Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from downsizing or eliminating national monument areas, sending letters to President Donald Trump saying that "making America great again" includes honoring tribal history
9:23PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Supporters want Kaepernick signed before season
Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick are demanding he be signed by a team before the National Football League season starts next month
9:23PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
44 mostly Romanian fruit pickers injured in German bus crash
Police in Germany say 44 people, most of them women from Romania, have been injured in a bus crash
9:48AM ( 13 hours ago )
Eurozone recovery ongoing as focus turns to Jackson Hole
A closely watched survey is showing that the eurozone economy is on course for another solid quarter of economic growth during the third quarter with exports holding up despite the rise in the value of the euro
9:07AM ( 14 hours ago )
Germany finishes bringing gold reserves back from France
Germany's central bank says it's finished bringing home the last of its gold reserves it plans on repatriating, which had been stashed abroad during the Cold War
8:47AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
US says some remains of sailors found on USS John McCain
The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet says Navy divers have found remains of some of the 10 sailors missing since a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore
12:07AM ( 23 hours ago )
The Latest: Families name 3 of the missing sailors on McCain
Three of the 10 sailors missing from the USS John S. McCain have been identified by family
11:48PM ( 23 hours ago )
3 of 10 missing US sailors identified after warship crash
Sailors with ties to Michigan, Illinois and Ohio are among 10 who are missing after a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asia
9:38PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Hill loses no-hit try on HR in 10th, Pirates top Dodgers 1-0
Dodgers lefty Rich Hill lost his perfect game on an error in the ninth inning, then lost his no-hitter on a leadoff home run in the 10th by Josh Harrison that sent the Pittsburgh Pirates over Los Angeles 1-0
11:35PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Sandbags, plywood, generators: Texas coast braces for Harvey
Former Tropical Storm Harvey erratically crawling toward Texas Gulf Coast, could become hurricane by landfall sometime Friday
11:29PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Wrapped: Charlottesville covers Confederate statues in black
Some onlookers cheered as workers in Charlottesville draped a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee with a black shroud on Wednesday
11:24PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Lucky numbers for $700M Powerball jackpot drawn
Lottery players will have a shot at a $700 million Powerball jackpot that ranks as the second largest in U.S. history
11:16PM ( 30 minutes ago )
The Latest: Police say white nationalist turns himself in
Police report white nationalist who says he pepper-sprayed a demonstrator in self-defense at rally in Virginia has turned himself in
11:15PM ( 31 minutes ago )