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Qatar strengthens diplomatic ties with Iran amid regional crisis

Gulf countries asked Qatar to cut ties with Tehran, failing which all of them cut diplomatic ties

AP| PTI  |  Dubai 

File photo of a man walking on the corniche in Doha, Qatar on June 15, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)
File photo of a man walking on the corniche in Doha, Qatar on June 15, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)

restored full with on Thursday, disregarding the demands of now locked in a regional dispute with the energy-rich country that it lessen its ties to Tehran.

In announcing its decision, did not mention the diplomatic crisis roiling Gulf since June, when found its land, sea and air routes cut off by its neighbors over Doha's policies across the Mideast.

However, the move comes just days after began promoting a Qatari royal family member whose branch of the family was ousted in a palace coup in 1972.

"Qatar has shown it is going to go in a different direction," said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University who lives in Seattle.

"It could very well be calculated toward reinforcing the point that Qatar will not bow to this regional pressure placed upon it."

Qatar's Foreign Ministry announced early Thursday that the country's ambassador would return to Tehran. Qatar pulled its ambassador in early 2016 after Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric sparked attacks on two Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran, a move to show solidarity with the kingdom.

"The state of Qatar expressed its aspiration to strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of in all fields," a short Foreign Ministry statement said. Iranian state media acknowledged the development, without elaborating.

Despite recalling its ambassador in 2016, and Qatar maintained their valuable commercial ties. Qatar and Iran share a massive offshore natural gas field, called the South Pars Field by Tehran and the North Field by Doha.

That gas field's vast reserves made Qataris have the highest per capita income in the world, as well as funded the nation's Al-Jazeera satellite news network and secured hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

First Published: Thu, August 24 2017. 13:57 IST