Doha has told Washington that its decision to send its ambassador back to Iran is not intended to signal increased co-operation with Tehran, the Wall Street Journal quoted a US official as saying.
The decision was meant to signal Qatar’s displeasure with Saudi Arabia for welcoming Shaikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, the official said.
Saudi Arabia last week opened its borders to Haj pilgrims from Qatar after Saudi King Salman met Shaikh Abdullah in Morocco.
The GDN reported earlier that Qatar fears the Saudi monarch’s welcome of Shaikh Abdullah could be an implicit withdrawal of Riyadh’s recognition of its current rulers and grant political legitimacy to the rival branch of Doha’s ruling family.
The report added that Doha’s decision threatens Washington’s efforts to resolve the dispute between pivotal Mideast allies.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt have cut ties with Qatar over its support for terrorism.
Observers also accused Qatar of lying to Washington and trying to downplay its strong relations with Tehran, especially after the deployment of Revolutionary Guards in Doha.
“What we’re seeing in Qatar is an increasing divergence from the Arab states and also the US. It makes a resolution to the crisis more complicated now,” the newspaper quoted Ghanem Nuseibeh, director of Cornerstone Global Associates, a London-based political risk consultancy firm, as saying.
Separately, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash condemned the Qatari U-turn towards Iran and Yemen.
Reacting to Doha statement regarding trade exchanges between the UAE and Iran, he said Tehran’s vital interests lie in the gas fields with Qatar.
“Qatar is managing the crisis in an adolescent way,” he said, adding the ambassador’s return to Tehran lays bare its true policy.
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