President Solih to visit Qatar to mark re-establishment of diplomatic ties

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih leaves for Laamu Atoll | File Photo: President's Office

Malé, Madives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is to visit Qatar on 14 March 2021, to mark the re-establishment of diplomatic relations after a lengthy diplomatic hiatus between the two countries.

Maldives reinstated full diplomatic relations with Qatar on 6 January 2021 after Maldives severed ties between the two countries in June 2017 during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s presidency.

Reinstating diplomatic relations between Qatar and Iran was one of the electoral pledges of the current President Solih.

Diplomatic relations were severed by the former government when Maldives joined Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt as the countries imposed an embargo against Qatar in 2017, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

Qatar denied the accusation and rejected embargo conditions which included cutting ties with Iran and closing Doha-based Al Jazeera broadcast network.

The four Arab states restored diplomatic relations with Qatar on 5 January 2021 at the Gulf Co-operation Council summit after Kuwait and US stepped up to mediate. On 6 January Maldives Foreign Minister Shahid tweeted re-instating diplomatic ties with the tiny gas and oil-rich nation.

The President of Maldives is also set to visit Bangladesh on the extended diplomatic trip on 17 March 2021 to commemorate the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.