Qatar Emir to Visit Bahrain Wednesday

Published May 24th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is due to visit Bahrain Wednesday in a bid to defuse a crisis between the two countries over a territorial dispute, the English daily Gulf News reported.  

The Qatari emir's visit "will take place following a mediation led by the United Arab Emirates," the daily said. 

Saudi Arabia has also been involved in mediation efforts to prevent a further deterioration in ties between the two neighbors. 

On Monday Qatar's Crown Prince Jassem bin Hamad al-Thani informed his Bahraini counterpart that he too wanted to visit Manama, a move that was welcomed by Bahrain, although no date was set, reported AFP Wednesday. 

In another sign that relations were improving again after their sudden deterioration last week, Sheikh Jassem visited Bahrain's prime minister Sunday in the residence where he was staying in Sanaa on the sidelines of the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Yemen's unity, the agency added.  

Bahrain decided Friday to suspend the work of a high-level joint committee in protest at Qatar's lack of response to its proposals to resolve their territorial dispute at the bilateral level rather than before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

Doha took the dispute to the ICJ in 1991 and the UN body in The Hague is scheduled to start hearing the case on May 29, said AFP. 

The border dispute centers on Doha's claim to the Hawar islands and Fasht al-Dibel rocks, which are potentially rich in oil and gas reserves, but held by Bahrain since the 1930s, and Manama's claim to Zubara on Qatar's coast - (Several Sources) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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