Gulf Leaders Attend Funeral of Iranian President Raisi Amid Diplomacy Renaissance

Qatar's emir, along with Saudi, UAE, and Kuwaiti officials, attended the funeral of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The event symbolizes the evolving diplomatic ties between Iran and its Gulf neighbors, following historic agreements to normalize relations, despite past tensions over regional conflicts and territorial disputes.

Reuters | Updated: 23-05-2024 02:32 IST | Created: 23-05-2024 02:32 IST
Gulf Leaders Attend Funeral of Iranian President Raisi Amid Diplomacy Renaissance

Qatar's emir and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait travelled on Wednesday to Tehran to attend the funeral of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, under whose tenure a historic deal that thawed relations between Tehran and its Gulf neighbours was brokered.

While Qatar has typically enjoyed warm relations with Iran, acting as a mediator between the Shi'ite Muslim country and the United States, other Gulf states had volatile relations with their neighbour. They had accused Iran of interfering in internal state affairs and backing regional foes, up until Riyadh and Tehran signed a landmark deal to normalise ties in 2023. In the same year, the UAE also upgraded diplomatic ties with Iran. Both states share business and trade ties stretching back more than a century, with the UAE's Dubai long being one of Iran's main links to the outside world.

Kuwait reappointed an ambassador to Tehran in 2022 after recalling its top envoy in solidarity with Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia when it severed ties with the Islamic Republic in 2016. Tensions still simmered over the offshore Durra gas field, where Saudi Arabia and Kuwait claim exclusive joint rights while Iran also claims a stake. Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and six other passengers and crew were killed in a helicopter crash in Iran on Sunday.

Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, led a high-level delegation that included Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who is also the foreign minister, to offer condolences for Raisi and Amirabdollahian, the emir's royal court said. The Saudi state news agency said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan attended the funeral.

Iranian state media showed UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan attending the funeral and paying his respects to the deceased. Later on Wednesday, UAE state news agency WAM confirmed the foreign minister had been at the funeral. Kuwait's Foreign Minister Abdullah Ali al-Yahya also travelled to Tehran on Wednesday to participate in Raisi's funeral on behalf of the Kuwaiti emir, the foreign ministry reported.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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