Sports and diplomacy go hand-in-hand as reconciliation moves forward.
More high level meetings were held between Riyadh and Doha as Qatar Olympics Committee President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani met with his counterpart Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Olympic Committee and Minister of Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal in Doha.
The visit of the Saudi minister comes at the invitation of Sheikh Joaan as the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup’s final nears.
This comes after a meeting between Qatar’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad al-Muraikhi and Acting Charge D’affaires of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia Ali Saad Ali al-Qahtani in Doha yesterday.
While the Saudi embassy in Qatar has not yet re-opened, statements made previously by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan suggested the embassy would open within days.
However, it has been nearly one month since that comment was made, with no official announcement to confirm progress as of yet.
“Our embassy will be reopened in Doha within days after completing necessary procedures,” the Saudi official said in January.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt signed a reconciliation deal with Qatar on January 5 to heal a years-long crisis that fractured relations.
The four countries severed diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar in 2017, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Qatar has vehemently denied the accusation, saying the blockade was an attempt to infringe on its sovereignty.