DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The chief of the United Arab Emirates made a shock go to on Monday to Qatar as it’s internet hosting the World Cup — his first since main a yearslong four-nation boycott of Doha over a political dispute that poisoned regional relations.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who additionally serves because the ruler of Abu Dhabi, made the journey on the invitation of Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the state-run WAM information company reported.

“The go to builds on the prevailing brotherly relations between the 2 nations and their folks,” WAM mentioned in its transient report.

Sheikh Mohammed was extensively seen by analysts as one of many most important architects of the boycott of Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that started in 2017.

On the top of the Qatar disaster, newspaper columns even urged digging a trench alongside the 87-kilometer (54-mile) border and filling it with nuclear waste. Whereas rhetorical bluster, it confirmed how deeply the anger ran within the area amid the dispute — which Kuwait’s then-ruler suggested nearly sparked a war.

Its root came from Qatar’s stance in supporting the Islamists who rose to power in Egypt and elsewhere following the 2011 Arab Spring. Whereas Qatar seen their arrival as a sea change within the gerontocracies gripping the Mideast, different Gulf Arab nations noticed the protests as a menace to their autocratic and hereditary rule.

Throughout the 2011 protests, Saudi Arabia and the UAE despatched troops to assist a violent crackdown on demonstrations in Bahrain.

The boycott, which noticed the 4 nations shut off air and sea routes to Qatar, solely led to January 2021 simply forward of President Joe Biden taking workplace in the USA. The boycott started instantly after a go to to the area by then-President Donald Trump early in his presidency.

The opening ceremony of the World Cup, which coincided with Qatar going through Ecuador within the event’s first match, saw Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi attend. Additionally on the dais with leaders was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who offered a significant lifeline to Qatar through the disaster.

Dubai’s ruler additionally attended alongside along with his son whereas Sheikh Mohammed didn’t attend. Nevertheless, he known as Sheikh Tamim the next day and “congratulated” Qatar on internet hosting the World Cup — one thing that might have been unthinkable on the top of the diplomatic disaster.

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Observe Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

By Maggi

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