London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz received the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad in Jeddah on Monday, in another sign of improving relations between the Gulf neighbors.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the two monarchs discussed “aspects of cooperation between the two countries in addition to the latest developments [in] Arab, Islamic and international arenas.”
Although the visit lasted less than a day, it likely signals progress in resolving a long-running dispute that has dogged relations between the Gulf neighbors, coming to a head earlier this year.
Saudi Arabia, together with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, withdrew their ambassadors from Doha in March, accusing it of meddling in their internal affairs, and backing the Muslim Brotherhood, which Riyadh has designated as a terrorist organization.
Qatar denies the allegations, and the four states have attempted to reconcile their differences through bilateral talks and mediation by fellow members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, especially Kuwait.
The dispute has also been eclipsed by regional crises in Iraq, Syria, and Gaza. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Qatar have also contributed to the international bombing campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The two monarchs also met in Jeddah in July, reportedly to discuss attempts to strike a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
According to the SPA, Monday’s meeting was also attended by a number of senior officials from both countries.
On the Saudi side, the delegation included Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense; Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz, also a Deputy Prime Minister; Prince Bandar Bin Sultan; Prince Khalid, Chief of the General Intelligence service; Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah, Minister of the National Guard; Prince Mohammed Bin Naif, Minister of Interior; Prince Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Minister of State.
The Qatari delegation included Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalid Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa; the manager of the Office of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Bin Abdulaziz; and Qatari ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdullah Bin Thamir Bin Mohammed.