World leaders and citizens of both countries have expressed their support for the decision to restore the ties between Doha and Manama.
Qatar and Bahrain have declared the complete restoration of diplomatic ties late on Wednesday.
The announcement came after the second meeting of the Qatari-Bahraini Follow-up Committee was held at the GCC headquarters in Riyadh, according to a statement from Qatar’s foreign ministry.
The long-awaited move was welcomed by the international community, as countries applauded the decision by both countries to move on past the GGC rift of 2017.
“The meeting discussed the topics on the agenda and reviewed the outcomes of the first meeting of the joint legal committee and the joint security committee. It was also decided to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries according to the principles of the United Nations Charter and the provisions of the Vienna Treaty on Diplomatic Relations of 1961,” the statement read.
“The two sides affirmed that this step stems from the mutual desire to develop bilateral relations and enhance the Gulf unity and integration according to the GCC Charter and in respect of the principles of equality between states, national sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, and good neighbourliness,” it added.
After years of hostility, the Biden administration applauded the diplomatic breakthrough between Bahrain and Qatar.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the United States has been working to promote rapprochement between the two countries.
“We welcome the restoration of diplomatic ties between Bahrain and Qatar, two close U.S. partners and Major Non-NATO Allies,” Sullivan said in a statement.
“The United States has been working since the start of the Biden Administration to encourage regional integration, de-escalation, and rapprochement between U.S. partners.”
Fellow GCC neighbour Oman also welcomed the move.
“The Sultanate of Oman welcomes the Bahraini-Qatari agreement regarding the restoration of diplomatic relations between them, stressing that this step supports and enhances cooperation and joint Gulf action for the benefit of all in the region,” read a statement by the country’s Foreign Ministry.
The move was also applauded by Jordan, among other nations.
Alex Macheras, Aviation Analyst, said direct flights between the two countries can be expected soon.
Leading up to the restoration of ties
Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain in imposing an illegal air, land, and sea blockade on Qatar in 2017.
The Al Ula Declaration was signed in 2021, but relations between Doha and Manama had remained tense.
Progress in relations between the two Gulf states appeared to be warming since the beginning of 2023.
The second meeting between Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani since the rift took place in Abu Dhabi in January.
Amir Tamim and Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Al Khalifa spoke on the phone just days after their meeting to discuss “outstanding issues”.
Foreign ministers from Bahrain and Qatar met in February for the first time since the GCC crisis in order to address the “pending” issues between them.