Qatar's emir in Saudi Arabia for talks with new king on Egypt, Yemen

AP , Tuesday 17 Feb 2015

In this photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of Qatar, left, arrives to meet with Saudi King Salman, right, at the Riyadh airport in Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/SPA)

Qatar's ruler was in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for talks with the newly enthroned King Salman about the deteriorating security situation in Yemen and relations with Egypt.

A Saudi official said Salman greeted Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the airport, a day after a high-level delegation from the United Arab Emirates arrived for similar talks. The Gulf rulers of Bahrain and Kuwait have also met with Salman for bilateral meetings since he assumed the throne last month after the passing of his half-brother King Abdullah.

The official said Tuesday's talks between Salman and Al Thani focused mostly on the Shiite rebel takeover of Yemen's government, which Saudi Arabia sees as a threat to its own stability and as regional interference from rival Iran.

The two leaders also talked about Qatar's relations with Egypt, according to the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

Taking part in the talks was the head of the Saudi National Guard Prince Miteb, Deputy Crown Prince and Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Defense Minister and Salman's son Prince Mohammed.

Al Thani last visited Saudi Arabia in January to offer condolences after King Abdullah's death. Relations soured between Qatar's young emir and the aging monarch after the ouster of Qatari-backed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Saudi Arabia supported Egypt's military when it overthrew Morsi from power and backed his successor, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, as he led a lethal crackdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. Under King Abdullah last year, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew ambassadors from Qatar, citing it as a move to protect their security in the face of Doha's support for organizations that threaten the Gulf's stability. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have branded the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbors agreed to reinstate ambassadors to Qatar eight months later in November after several rounds of high-level talks and months of pressure that forced Doha to expel several Brotherhood figures. Saudi Arabia had also begun overseeing efforts to repair ties between Egypt and Qatar.

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