Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Qatar on Wednesday, marking his first visit to the country after the two sides severed ties four years ago. For the uninitiated, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut all links with Qatar in June 2017, saying the country backed radical Islamist groups and was a close ally of Riyadh’s rival Tehran. Doha had denied all these allegations but the neighbouring states sealed their airspace to Qatari flights, shuttered Qatar’s only land border and also expelled Qatari citizens.
The relations were restored in January after a landmark summit in the city of Al-Ula. Crown Prince Mohammed was greeted by the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, with whom he will hold talks. The talks are aimed at fortifying the kingdom’s alliances as rival Iran resumes nuclear negotiations with world powers.
Prince Mohammed’s visit to Doha comes only days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went there for two days of talks. Relations between Turkey and Qatar went south after the killing of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
Earlier, the Saudi Prince visited the UAE, and will conclude his tour with a visit to Bahrain and Kuwait.