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Qatar and UAE officials discuss Al-Ula progress in Abu Dhabi

Previous reports claimed several Qatar-based news websites were unblocked in Abu Dhabi.

Qatari and Emirati delegations met in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday for their fourth follow up meeting on the implementation of the 2021 Al-Ula Declaration, Doha’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

During the meeting, Qatar was represented by Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, as the UAE was represented by Ali Saeed Matar Al Neyadi.

“The two sides discussed joint mechanisms and procedures for implementing the Al Ula Declaration, stressing the importance of bolstering relations between the two countries, and developing joint work to achieve their common interests,” the statement read.

The meeting is among the latest developments between Qatar and the UAE’s ties, which have gradually resumed since the signing of the declaration in 2021.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt severed ties with Qatar and imposed an illegal air, land, and sea blockade on the country. At the time, the quartet accused Qatar of sponsoring terrorism, though Doha has vehemently and consistently denied the “baseless” allegations.

However, all parties involved in the region’s worst diplomatic rift in decades buried the hatchet in 2021 with the signing of the Al Ula accord.

While the blockade has since come to an end, relations between Qatar and other countries have moved at various speeds, with the UAE proving slower than others.

However, in May last year, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani visited the UAE for the first time since the crisis was resolved to offer his condolences to its current president Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan following the death of former ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Progress was also made late last year with a surprise visit by the UAE president to Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In March, the UAE reportedly withdrew its bid to host the 2026 World Bank International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in favour of Qatar.

The UAE also reportedly unblocked several Qatari news websites following the end of the GCC crisis though Doha News remains banned, as per a report by Al-Monitor.

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