Saudi envoy back in Qatar after Gulf spat resolved

AFP , Tuesday 18 Nov 2014

A general view of the last session of the 34th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit held in Kuwait, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Qatar has resumed his duties in Doha eight months after being withdrawn in an unprecedented diplomatic spat between Gulf states, media reports said on Tuesday.

Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Manama all withdrew their envoys to Doha in March, sparking one of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council's worst diplomatic rows since its creation in 1981.

GCC leaders agreed on Sunday in Riyadh that the ambassadors would return, in talks held ahead of the group's annual summit set for Qatar on December 9 and 10.

Saudi ambassador Abdullah al-Aifan told the daily Asharq al-Awsat he was "back in Doha, in the presence of all the Saudi diplomatic staff", adding that relations between the neighbours are "back to normal".

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE had accused Qatar of meddling in their internal affairs by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have designated the Brotherhood a "terrorist" group, and the UAE has jailed dozens of people convicted of links to the Islamist organisation.

Doha earlier this year asked Brotherhood leaders to leave gas-rich Qatar following diplomatic pressure from Saudi Arabia.

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