Egypt and Qatar agree to resume diplomatic ties

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Egyptian President and new Chairman of African Union Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gives a press conference during the closure of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Summit at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 11, 2019. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP) (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt and Qatar have agreed to resume diplomatic relations, making Egypt the first to officially do so under an Arab deal to end a long-running dispute between the two nations.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry made the announcement on Wednesday.

“The Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Qatar exchanged, today, January 20, 2021, two official memoranda, in virtue of which the two countries agreed to resume diplomatic relations.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt agreed earlier this month to restore diplomatic, trade and travel ties severed in 2017 over allegations Qatar supported terrorism, a charge that Doha denies.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said the kingdom expects to reopen its embassy in Qatar within days, and full diplomatic relations between the two would resume.

The UAE, which followed Riyadh in reopening all entry points to Qatar, has said restoring diplomatic ties will take time. Bahrain has reopened its air space to Qatar, as has Egypt.

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