Maldives to reinstate full diplomatic relations with Qatar

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives has announced the decision to reinstate full diplomatic relations with Qatar. The move comes after Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations lifted the embargo on Qatar, bringing to end a years-long deeply divisive diplomatic crisis.

Maldives severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in June 2017 during President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration, after Saudi Arabia launched its embargo against Qatar.

Reinstating diplomatic relations with both Qatar and the Commonwealth – both of which were severed during Yameen’s administration – had been one of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s electoral pledges.

The decision to reinstate diplomatic relations was announced by Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Shahid engaged in discussions with Qatar’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi on Tuesday evening.

Yameen’s administration had severed ties with Qatar citing the need to take a stand against terrorism and religious extremism.

Maldives first established diplomatic and political relations with Qatar on May 26, 1984, during President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration. Qatar had been one of Maldives’ key bilateral partners, and had brought in significant investments.