Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement over the bilateral ties with Qatar. Published on the Foreign Ministry’s website, the statement confirmed that two official invitations had been sent to Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, which demanded a Qatari delegation be sent to Manama to start negotiations over bilateral relations.
According to the statement, a delegation was requested to discuss the issues between the two countries and take steps to implement regulations stipulated in the Al Ula Declaration.
Stressing the importance of unity among the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC), Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani called Qatar to “take into consideration in its foreign policy the unity of the Gulf, the bonds of kinship, common history, and mutual interests.”
The Bahraini Minister also called Qatar to “constructively interact with the decision of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on air travel for the Middle East.”
The aforementioned decision invites the two countries to reach an understanding regarding regulations on air traffic in the region through the good offices of the president of the ICAO. Such a move is believed to pave the way to consolidate Gulf unity and strengthen the “process of joint Gulf cooperation for greater integration and interdependence,” the statement added.
In February, it was reported that Bahrain sent the first official invitation to Qatar following both sides agreed to normalize relations in the 41st Summit of GCC, held in the Saudi city of Al Ula. However, Qatar reportedly did not respond to the invitation.
The lack of response from Qatar to the invitation reportedly derived from the fact that the invitation had been issued through a media channel. The Bahraini Minister affirmed this allegation, saying that “It became clear through correspondence with the Secretary-General of the GCC, Nayef bin Falah Al Hajraf, that the reason for the delay in the Qatari response is the media announcement of the invitation addressed to Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
The relations between the two countries deteriorated when Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt who imposed a sea, land, and air embargo on Qatar in 2017. Even though the Gulf crisis was resolved in January, several disagreements between the two countries still remain to be solved.