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Qatar withdraws troops from Eritrea-Djibouti disputed border

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Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah visits the Qatari peacekeepers deployed along Eritrea-Djibouti border in June 2016 (QNA)
June 14, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) - Qatar on Wednesday said it has pulled out its 450 troops deployed at the disputed border line of Eritrea and Djibouti since seven years ago.

Qatar had mediated border dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti that ended a two-year long conflict under Doha peace deal signed in 2010 between the two eastern African nations.

After the peace pact was sealed, Qatar sent 450 troops to the disputed mountainous border area to oversee the implementation of the peace agreement.

"The state of Qatar has informed the government of Djibouti that it has withdrawn all of its troops deployed on the borderline," said Wednesday Qatar’s ministry of foreign affairs.

The ministry said Qatar had been an "impartial diplomatic mediator" in resolving border disputes between Eritrea and Djibouti.

Qatar’s decision to withdraw its troops and suspend its peacekeeping mission in Africa comes a day after Asmara’s decision to cut its diplomatic ties with Doha in support of Saudi Arabia’s and its allies.

Eritrea which has cordial relations with Saudi and Its allies on Monday officially announced its full support of collective actions taken against Qatar.

Also, Asmara recently developed close relations with Cairo which has troubled relations with Addis Ababa and Khartoum.

Qatar said it will continue to engage in resolving disputes and crises that might spark between "brotherly and friendly countries and will continue to be a major player in the international community".

The statement didn’t mention the reasons for its decision to call off the peacekeeping mission on Eritrea-Djibouti border.

Qatar’s faces a campaign by the Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE) encouraging countries in the region and across the world cut ties with the tiny state in order to isolate it.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Doha accusing it of support to terrorist groups and becoming close to the regional arch-rival Iran.

(ST)

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