Saudi Arabia and Egypt are resuming postal service to Qatar -frozen during a diplomatic rift that’s lasted nearly three years- following a similar move by the United Arab Emirates.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the move indicated a broader mending of ties between the states, mired since June 2017 in a dispute that’s hurt trade and split the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at a time of heightened tensions with Iran.
“The decision by Saudi Arabia to resume international postal exchanges with Qatar via Oman shows that countries are taking a constructive approach to this matter,” a spokesperson for the UN’s Universal Postal Union said Monday.
Saudi Post will resume mail service to Qatar from Tuesday, a spokesman for the company said. Egypt restored it from Feb. 17, according to messages sent by the countries to the Universal Postal Union for global distribution to postal operators. Both countries, like the U.A.E., will be routing mail through Oman; there are no direct flights between the countries and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering in their domestic affairs, charges the government in Doha denies.
Earlier this month, the Universal Postal Union said it hosted a meeting in Bern, Switzerland, in January, bringing together officials from the U.A.E, Qatar and other Arab nations involved in the diplomatic impasse. The talks sought to encourage the countries to send post to one another and improve service.
The Saudi government’s Center for International Communication did not respond to a request for comment. Egyptian postal authorities were not immediately available for comment.