New Qatari ambassador to Saudi Arabia presents credentials
Qatar's new ambassador to Saudi Arabia presented his credentials to Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed al-Khuraij on Tuesday, a ministry statement said.
Bandar bin Mohammed al-Attiyah was received at the ministry's office in Riyadh by Khuraij on behalf of Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who was abroad.
"During the reception, al-Khuraiji received a copy of al-Attiyah's credentials, in preparation for submission to King Salman bin Abdulaziz," the ministry said in a statement.
Khuraiji also conveyed "the foreign minister's wishes to the Qatari ambassador of success in consolidating and strengthening cooperation relations between the two countries and pushing them to broader horizons," it added.
Attiyah was named as ambassador to Saudi Arabia by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in August, in a sign of improved ties after rival Gulf states agreed this year to end a long-running dispute.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain resolved in January to restore political, trade and travel ties that had been severed in mid-2017 over charges that Qatar supported terrorism, a reference to Islamist groups, which Doha denies.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt have both re-established diplomatic ties with Qatar, but the UAE and Bahrain have yet to do so. All but Bahrain have restored trade and travel links.
Saudi Arabia has taken the lead among the four in mending ties with small but wealthy, gas-producing Qatar, scoring points with key ally the United States while also standing to benefit economically as it seeks to lure more foreign investment.
In January, heeding outgoing US President Donald Trump's wish to re-establish a united Arab front against Iran, and keen to impress new President Joe Biden, Riyadh declared an end to the boycott and said its three allies were on board.
But a senior UAE official has said it would take time to rebuild trust while Bahrain and Doha have yet to hold bilateral talks aimed at mending ties.