Dubai: Qatar’s emir has appointed an ambassador to Iraq, the first since the embassy was closed 25 years ago, Iraqi and Qatari media said, in the latest sign of a thaw in relations between Gulf Arab countries and Iraq.
Iraq’s foreign minister had said in May that Qatar would open an embassy in Baghdad.
Qatari state media as well as Qatar-owned Al Jazeera said on their websites that Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani had issued a decree appointing Zayed Al Khayareen as Qatar’s “ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Iraq”.
Tensions between the states of the Gulf and Iraq have eased since Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi took office last year.
A rapprochement could help strengthen a regional alliance against Daesh terrorists who have seized vast areas in both Iraq and neighbouring Syria.
Saudi Arabia also signalled its intention to reopen an embassy in Baghdad earlier this year and has invited Al Abadi to visit the kingdom.
Some Gulf states have viewed Iraq as being too close to their main regional rival, Iran.
Al Abadi’s predecessor, Nouri Al Maliki, had accused both Qatar and Saudi Arabia of funding Daesh insurgents, allegations denied by both countries.
Iraq recalled its ambassador to Qatar this week after the foreign ministry denounced a conference hosted by Doha it said included attendees wanted by Iraqi courts on terrorism charges.