Qatar and Bahrain have agreed to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and the provisions of the Vienna Treaty on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
The meeting took place at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where both delegations discussed necessary procedures and mechanisms to end the outstanding special files between the two countries, according to the Qatari News Agency (QNA) and Bahrain New Agency (BNA).
This step was taken to achieve the aspirations of the peoples of the two countries in security, stability, and prosperity, as stated in the “Al-Ula” statement issued by the “Al-Ula” summit held in January 2021.
The two sides affirmed during the meeting of the Qatari-Bahraini follow-up committee that this move comes as an embodiment of the directives of the leaderships of the two countries, and their keenness to preserve the future and entity of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and to work on its gains.
In January, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, had a phone conversation with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The restoration of diplomatic relations is expected to open up ample opportunities for Bahraini companies operating in various fields such as aluminum, contracting, and construction, in the Qatari market.
Qatar exports to Bahrain were $2.8 million in 2021, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade. Qatar’s exports to Bahrain consist mainly of perfumes and rubber stamps, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).
Bahrain exports to Qatar were $1.38 million in 2020, as per COMTRADE. Bahrain’s exports to Qatar are primarily comprised of aluminum structures, according to OEC and COMTRADE.
The restoration of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Qatar is a significant development for the GCC countries as a whole. With these two countries re-establishing their ties, the GCC can better face the challenges and headwinds that lie ahead. This move can help restore a sense of unity and cooperation among the GCC member states, which have been facing several challenges in recent years.
According to analysts at S&P Global Ratings, GCC countries are on track to maintain a resilient performance in 2023 despite soaring interest rates and inflation, less-accommodating debt capital markets amid continued bleak economic growth.
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