Manama: Bahrain on Tuesday downplayed the significance of a rare phone call between the Bahraini prime minister and the Qatari emir amid a two-year row between the two Gulf countries.
The call between Prime Minister Khalifa Bin Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani “does not represent Bahrain’s official position,” the Bahraini state news agency reported, quoting the minister of cabinet affairs.
In June 2017, Bahrain along with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt broke off diplomatic and transportation links with Qatar over its support for extremist and terrorist groups. The boycott has hit Doha hard in economic and diplomatic terms.
Bahrain said on Tuesday that the call “does not affect its obligations” towards UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt about Qatar.
The quartet has hinged restoration of normal ties with Qatar on the tiny emirate’s compliance with a set of demands, including stopping its support for militant groups. Doha has rejected the demands, saying it violates its sovereignty. Bahrain Tuesday called the demands “fair”.
A statement from the office of the Bahraini prime minister said late Monday that the phone call was “social” and focused only on exchanging greetings on the occasion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan started in Bahrain and Qatar on Monday.