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Qatar and Chad have restored diplomatic ties

Officials of Chad and Qatar during the signing of an MOU.

PARIS, France—Qatar and Chad discontinued diplomatic relations in August 2017 immediately after the start of a Saudi-led boycott of the emirate, but the two countries are to restore diplomatic relations, a  foreign ministry released in Doha said on Tuesday.

Qatar’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Lolwah Al-Khater, said on social media that both countries would return their ambassadors with immediate effect.

Al-Khater tweeted: “Moments ago MOU (memorandum of understanding) was signed between Qatar and Chad; Diplomatic relations to be resumed with the immediate exchange of ambassadors.”

Al-Khater further noted that the agreement was “a victory for both countries.”

In late August 2017, Chad shut down Qatar’s embassy in N’Djamena, alleging that Doha was planning to destabilize the landlocked African semi-desert nation.

Qatar retaliated within few days by closing Chad’s embassy in Doha and requesting all diplomatic and non-diplomatic staff to exit the country.

In the process, Saudi Arabia and other countries including the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East shuttered all ties with Qatar accusing the Qatari regime of supporting terrorism and forming an alliance with Iran.

Although Qatar denied the accusations and said the dispute was an attack on its sovereignty, Chad and a small group of African states, including Mauritania and Senegal, adhered to the Saudis and recalled their ambassadors from Doha at the beginning of the crisis.

As the crisis dragged on, Qatar accused the Saudi-led bloc of putting pressure on African countries to take sides in the political and diplomatic confrontations.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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