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Egypt says it agreed with Qatar to restore diplomatic ties

By AFP - Jan 21,2021 - Last updated at Jan 21,2021

Travellers, mask-clad due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, walk past the Qatar Airways check-in desk ahead of a flight at Hamad International Airport near the Qatari capital Doha on Monday (AFP photo)

CAIRO — Egypt and Qatar agreed Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations, Egypt's foreign ministry said, after a three-year-long Saudi led freeze on ties with Doha ended this month.

Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut ties and transport links with Qatar in June 2017, alleging it backed radical Islamist groups and was too close to Riyadh's rival Iran — claims Doha denied.

But in line with the outcome of a recent Gulf regional summit, Egypt and Qatar "have today ... exchanged two official documents in which the two nations have agreed to resume diplomatic relations," the statement by the Egyptian ministry said.

A Gulf Co-operation Council summit held in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, on January 5 signalled an end to the diplomatic rift, as the four boycotting countries agreed to lift their blockade.

Ahead of Wednesday’s announcement on the formal restoration of ties, flights between Doha and Cairo resumed on Monday, for the first time in over three years.

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