In unofficial clothes, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad, and Emirati national security advisor Tahnoun bin Zayed appeared on the Red Sea, in a picture whose cause was not officially announced, but according to observers, it indicates a new stage in relations. Between the three countries, after a previous crisis, the region was plunged into a spiral of great tension.
And the director of the private office of the Saudi crown prince published. Bader Al-Asaker, the photo on his Twitter account, described the meeting that brought the three together as “friendly and brotherly”.
A friendly, brotherly meeting in the Red Sea
It brings together His Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and the National Security Adviser in the UAE, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan. pic.twitter.com/2nAUJ8HPM5
— Bader Al Asaker (@Badermasaker) September 17, 2021
The last meeting between the Emir of Qatar and the Saudi crown prince dates back to last May, in the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea.
Last month, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, received an Emirati delegation headed by Emirati National Security Adviser Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, where the two sides exchanged views on a number of issues of common concern.
And about the new meeting, the Saudi political analyst, Suleiman Al-Aqili, said in an interview with Al-Hurra TV website that “the picture reflects a Gulf political meeting that translates the efforts of His Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to complete, promote and advance Gulf reconciliation, especially between the UAE and Qatar.”
The Saudi researcher in international relations, Ahmed Al Ibrahim, said in an interview with Al-Hurra TV website that “the picture has indications of the strategic and tactical transformations that the region is going through.”
Reconciliation occurred between the four countries and Qatar at a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council held in January in the Saudi city of Al-Ula, and restrictions were lifted by the four countries and the resumption of air traffic with Doha. But relations remained frosty between Abu Dhabi and Doha.
During the past months, the region witnessed a rapprochement and exchange of visits between countries that had been at odds for years. As happened between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE on the one hand, and Turkey and Qatar on the other.
In his interview with Al-Hurra TV, the Qatari political analyst, Ali Al-Hail, goes in the direction that “the picture has a clear political connotation, as well as a security connotation in the presence of Tahnoun bin Zayed.”
He added, “Tahnoun bin Zayed is the UAE’s national security advisor. He visited Turkey and expressed the UAE’s desire to invest billions of dollars in it.”
Since the reconciliation, there have been cautious steps toward a return to normalcy, including the resumption of air travel between former foes and the reopening of Qatar’s only land border with Saudi Arabia.
It was remarkable that the city of “NEOM” on the Red Sea hosted this tripartite meeting, and Al-Aqili said in his interview with Al-Hurra that “the gathering of the two countries in NEOM comes because it has become the seat of the Saudi political leadership at the present time.”
Regarding the absence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed from the meeting, Al-Aqili told Al-Hurra that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi “may be on official visits in France or Britain, which did not allow him to attend.” He is active in Emirati politics, and his presence is sufficient to conclude understandings and advance the coordination of Qatari-Emirati reconciliation.
As for the researcher Al Ibrahim, he believes that the absence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and the presence of Tahnoun bin Zayed is a natural thing, as the latter, according to the researcher, is the one who handles the file of challenges with other countries such as Turkey and files to settle disputes with the Gulf states.
It was remarkable the absence of Bahrain from the last picture, but the researcher Al Ibrahim downplayed the importance of this in his speech to Al-Hurra, and explained that the picture is in the interest of the Gulf even for countries that did not attend, adding that the matter is related to an Arab meeting on the Red Sea and not a summit, noting that the Crown Prince of Bahrain He attended the Al-Ula agreement.
The photo raised questions about a Saudi role in mediating between Qatar and the UAE, but the Qatari analyst, Al-Hail, told Al-Hurra that “the combination of Tamim and the Saudi Crown Prince with Tahnoun in the photos indicates that things are stable between Qatar and the UAE, and that Qatar does not need Saudi mediation. between it and the Emirates.
It is noteworthy that flights between Qatar and Saudi Arabia resumed on January 11, shortly after the reopening of the land borders between the two countries.
The estrangement caused the separation of family members from each other, after the Qataris were prevented from entering Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.
The crisis also had an economic impact in the whole region, especially with the drop in oil prices and the effects of the emerging Corona virus.