Bahrain’s relations with Qatar are moving in the right direction after a series of measures to restore ties between the two Gulf states, revealed a Bahraini Foreign Ministry official on Sunday.
According to Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for International Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the shift followed the declaration at the Saudi AlUla Summit in January 2021, which had turned the page on the Gulf row.
“There is a development in the relations with the brothers in Qatar,” Sheikh Abdullah told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The two countries are actively seeking to break the ice in their relations.
On January 26, a phone call conversation took place between Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The phone talks were followed by a meeting at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh on February 7.
The meeting brought together Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
A joint statement said the top diplomats discussed setting up necessary mechanisms and procedures to launch talks at the level of bilateral committees to resolve the special files pending between their countries.
These talks are in line with the stipulations of the AlUla Declaration.
The Bahraini Foreign Ministry, however, did not comment on the “pending files” that the joint statement mentioned.
At the bilateral committees talks, Bahrain’s delegation was headed by Sheikh Abdullah, while the Qatari side was led by Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Ahmed bin Hassan Al-Hammadi.
Sheikh Abdullah explained that the two parties held joint meetings to clear up the differences.
“We are optimistic that relations between the two countries are moving in the right direction,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
In other news, Sheikh Abdullah, on the sidelines of a Formula 1 presser with international media, said that Bahrain’s relations with Israel contribute to supporting stability in the region and easing tension.
“Bahrain continues to affirm its firm position regarding support for the Palestinian cause, the rights of the brotherly Palestinian people to establish an independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the principle of the two-state solution,” said Sheikh Abdullah.
He further reiterated Manama’s rejection of the Israeli measures against the Palestinians.
“We reject the Israeli settlement policies in the occupied territories, and the assault on Palestinian worshipers, and our positions were reflected in official statements,” said Sheikh Abdullah.