Qatar's Emir Tamim al-Thani gets ambassador to Saudi Arabia


DUBAI, Aug. 11 - Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Wednesday announced an ambassador to Saudi Arabia after Riyadh renewed its envoy to Doha in June, in a sign of improving ties with the rival Gulf states that agreed this year to end a long dispute.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain resolved in January to restore political, trade and travel ties that had been broken over accusations that Qatar supported terrorism in mid-2017 over charges that Doha denied Islamist groups.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt have re-established diplomatic relations with Qatar, but the UAE and Bahrain have yet to do so. Sheikh Tamim's office said in a statement that bandar Mohammed Al Attiyah was invited to Riyadh as Ambassador. Al Attiyah served for Qatar's Ambassador to Kuwait, who had mediated in the Gulf Conflict.

Cairo had appointed an ambassador to Egypt last month, following a similar move by Qatar in June.

Saudi Arabia has taken the lead among the four in mending ties with its wealthy but small-time, gas-producing Qatar, scoring points with key ally the United States while also standing to benefit economically as it seeks to attract more foreign investment.

In January, confronting new President Joe Biden's wish to re-establish a united Arab front against Iran and keen to impress outgoing President Donald Trump, Riyadh declared an end to the boycott and said its three allies were on board.

But a senior UAE official says it would take time to rebuild trust while Bahrain and Doha have yet to hold bilateral talks aimed at mending ties.