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. Qatari state media as well as Qatar-owned Al Jazeera said on their websites that Sheikh 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 Sunni Muslim-ruled states of the Gulf and Iraq, which has a Shi’ite majority, have eased since Prime Minister Haider Abadi took office last year. Saudi Arabia also signalled its intention to reopen an embassy in Baghdad earlier this year and has invited Abadi to visit the kingdom.
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