Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met with a brother of the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday, a statement by the Qatari ruler's office said.
Sheikh Tamim met with the UAE’s national security adviser, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Doha.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt agreed in January to end the dispute that had led them to sever ties with Qatar in 2017 over accusations that Doha supported terrorism. Doha denied the charges.
Riyadh and Cairo have led efforts to mend ties and appointed ambassadors to Qatar, while Abu Dhabi and Manama have yet to do so. All but Bahrain have restored travel and trade links.
Sheikh Tahnoun and the Qatari emir discussed strengthening cooperation, particularly in economic and trade areas and in investment projects, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have sought to contain regional tensions, including with their rival Iran, as the United States on which they have long relied for security reduces its military involvement in the wider region.
The two nations could gain from investment by small but wealthy Qatar, the world's top supplier of liquefied natural gas.
Sheikh Tahnoun's visit to Doha follows another rare trip that he made last week to Turkey, an ally of Qatar. The UAE has been at odds with Turkey on several regional issues, including over the conflict in Libya where the two states have backed rival sides.
Turkish officials have said the UAE supports terrorist organizations that target Turkey, using the groups as useful political and military tools abroad.
The UAE's aggressive foreign policy led it to be a part of a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that launched a devastating air campaign to roll back Houthi territorial gains in 2015, further escalating the crisis in the war-torn country. In Libya, Abu Dhabi backed putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar and tried to oust the legitimate United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). In Syria, it supported the Bashar Assad regime in its offensive against democracy and civil rights.
And in 2017, Abu Dhabi was at the forefront of a regional embargo on Qatar, which the UAE and Saudi Arabia imposed after accusing Doha of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and being too close to Iran. In January, Abu Dhabi followed Saudi Arabia’s lead in lifting the regional embargo on Qatar.
Turkey has also moved to overcome tensions with Saudi Arabia and Egypt that have hurt the Turkish economy.
Another senior Emirati official said last week the UAE was "building bridges" as it focuses on economic development in its domestic and foreign policy.
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