Qatari emir, Saudi crown prince and Emirati NSA hold ‘brotherly meeting’ at Red Sea

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Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a “brotherly” meeting at the Red Sea on Friday.

Director of the Private Office of the Saudi Crown Prince, Badr Al Asaker, shared a picture of the three on Twitter.

“A friendly and brotherly meeting in the Red Sea brings together Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, and the UAE National Security Adviser in the UAE, Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” Al Asaker wrote on Twitter.

Last month, the UAE’s national security adviser had also met Qatar’s emir in Doha in the first such visit in four years following this year’s deal to end a bitter dispute.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had imposed a diplomatic, trade and travel embargo on Qatar since mid-2017 accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar had denied it, saying the embargo aimed to undermine its sovereignty.

In January this year, a breakthrough was reached in Qatar’s three-year-old dispute with Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries along with a US-backed agreement aimed at ending their rift.

“What happened today is … the turning of the page on all points of difference and a full return of diplomatic relations,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan had told a press conference at the conclusion of a landmark regional summit in Saudi Arabia on Jan 5.

“During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries and ways of consolidating the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) joint action,” the official Saudi Press Agency had said.

The development was significant in a series of Middle East deals sought by Washington — the others involving Israel and Arab states — aimed at building a united front against Iran.