UAE and Qatar officials hold first meeting since Gulf detente

Delegations from two neighbouring countries meet in Kuwait, weeks after agreement to end diplomatic rift.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt agreed in January to restore diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar, which had been severed in 2017 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Official delegations from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar have met in Kuwait for the first time since an agreement last month to end a bitter dispute of more than three years, according to the Emirati state news agency WAM.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, along with Egypt, severed economic and diplomatic ties with fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member Qatar in June 2017 and imposed a land, sea, and air blockade, accusing it among others of supporting “terrorism”.

Qatar repeatedly denied the claims and said there was no justification for severing relations.

In early January, the blockading quartet and Qatar agreed at a summit held in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula to restore diplomatic, trade and travel relations.

WAM said on Monday the UAE and Qatari officials who met in Kuwait “discussed joint mechanisms and procedures for implementing the Al-Ula statement”.

It added: “They emphasised the importance of preserving Gulf kinship and developing joint Gulf action in the interest of GCC countries and their citizens, and of achieving stability and prosperity in the region.”

The two delegations thanked Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for their roles in ending the rift, WAM said, without elaborating on who had attended the meeting.

There was no immediate statement from Qatar.

Since last month’s agreement, air and travel links have resumed between Qatar and the four states.

Each state is to arrange bilateral talks with Qatar to resolve individual issues.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies