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UAE And Qatar Agree To Restore Diplomatic Ties

After a six-year rift, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have reached an agreement to restore diplomatic ties. The dispute emerged when the UAE accused Qatar of sponsoring terrorism.

"The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and expressed the State of Qatar's aspiration to promoting partnership with the United Arab Emirates to reflect the depth of the fraternal relations between the two brotherly peoples," Qatar's foreign ministry said in a statement.

This is shaping up as a period of mending fences in the Gulf region.

Back in March, Saudi and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic ties in a deal brokered by China, ending a seven-year rift. Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran reached fever pitch in 2019 after an assault claimed by Iran-backed Yemeni fighters on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq facility temporarily knocked out half the production capacity. Last year, Saudi Arabia sounded the alarm for an imminent Iranian attack, eliciting a swift response by the United States.

The Saudi Arabia-Iran deal is the latest in a series of geopolitical realignments that have lately been going on in the Middle East. For more than a year, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been quietly negotiating normalizing relations that were severely damaged following the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul; Qatar has healed a five-year-old rift with its Persian Gulf neighbors while Israel is deepening its Arab ties at a time when its conflict with the Palestinians heats up. 

Meanwhile, Tehran has issued pardons for more than 22,000 people that were arrested during protests that rocked the country following the death of Mahsa Amini. The unrest erupted in several Kurdish cities after the 22-year-old Iranian-Kurd died on September 16, just three days after she was arrested by Iran’s “morality police” for allegedly breaching the country’s strict dress code for women.

But more alarmingly for the oil markets, last weekoil prices tanked after reports emerged that the U.S. and Iran are making progress after resuming talks on a nuclear deal, a move that could ease sanctions on Iran's oil exports. Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that the talks are moving forward more rapidly than expected, with the possibility of a deal being struck in a matter of weeks. Deal terms are likely to include Iran ceasing its 60% and higher uranium enrichment activities in return for permission to export as much as 1M bbl/day of oil.

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 19 2023 said:
    With UAE and Qatar restoring diplomatic relations after Saudi Arabia and Iran restored theirs, the Gulf region is shaping up towards a period of peace and stability, cooperation and further economic growth and prosperity.

    Given its vast energy resources and the enthusiastic embrace of technological advances by countries of the region, the Gulf region is on its way to become a great strategic and economic powerhouse to be reckoned with.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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