Qatar is considering ending its support for the Muslim Brotherhood as it edges towards restoring ties with its regional allies, reports say.
Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Al Jazeera hinted to the unofficial move after Qatari foreign minister Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani made an unannounced visit to Riyadh late November in an effort to end over two years of Qatar’s isolation by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt over Doha’s support for terrorist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Qatari Foreign Minister was the most senior official to visit Saudi Arabia since Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani attended a summit in Mecca last May.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood and asked Qatar to ban it in return as part of a set of 13 conditions before they thaw ties with the tiny gas-rich country.
Other conditions include closing of the Turkish military base, end of relations with Iran, their archrival, and closure of the Al Jazeera office, which often receives members of the movement in its studios.
Qatar has become the main host country for the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideologue, the Egyptian Yousuf Al Qaradawi.
It is unclear if Qatar will sever ties with the movement as analysts argue that Doha uses the Muslim Brotherhood for influence in Egypt, Palestine, Syria.
Other signs signaled a thawing in Qatar’s relations with its neighbors: last month, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain revoked a decision to boycott the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup Football hosted by Qatar, giving diplomacy and engagement a chance.
Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al Jarallah had hailed the decision to participate in the football tournament as a “clear indication” towards “progress.”
This week, Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz invited Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani to a GCC summit in Riyadh, scheduled for December 10, 2019.