Direct flights between Bahrain and Qatar are to resume “soon” amid warming relations between the two Gulf states, according to Bahraini Minister of Transportation Mohammed Al-Kaabi.
Al-Kaabi made the remarks during parliament’s weekly session yesterday, saying an agreement had been reached with Doha following official communication between civil aviation authorities on both sides.
“It is just a scheduling matter that needs to be finalised,” he said, adding that “This comes as an agreement has been reached between both countries to resume direct flights.”
“The issue of the agreement remains on the agenda and is under review.”
The latest sign that both countries are heading towards normalisation comes after Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa expressed the importance of resolving outstanding issues with Qatar on Monday during a weekly cabinet meeting.
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The king made the comments “in order to achieve the common aspirations of their citizens, preserve the cohesion of the GCC, and safeguard the region’s security and stability,” reported the Bahraini News Agency (BNA).
The report added that King Hamad “underlined the importance of commitment to implementing all the resolutions of the GCC Supreme Council and the Al-Ula Summit Declaration,” referring to the 2021 resolution in Saudi Arabia that ended the 2017 Gulf diplomatic crisis when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed an air, land and sea blockade on Qatar over accusation that it supported terrorism, claims denied by Doha.
Despite the dispute being resolved, there have been no bilateral discussions between Manama and Doha to resolve differences and Bahrain and the UAE are yet to re-establish diplomatic relations. Last week, Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Al-Khalifa held a phone conversation with Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, to discuss “outstanding issues”.
“It was also agreed that officials from both countries will continue to communicate to achieve common goals,” according to BNA’s readout of the call.
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