Qatar Closes "The Bridge of Love" Office in Doha and Bahrain, Demands Bahrain to Return $350 Million
2022-03-28 - 1:27 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On June 29, 2008, Bahrain's cabinet approved a loan agreement between the Government of Bahrain and Doha.
Under the agreement, Qatar's $350 million loan represents Bahrain's 50% share of Qatar-Bahrain Causeway foundation capital, named "The Bridge of Love".
The Bridge of Love is a project to build a bridge connecting the two Gulf countries. It was first unveiled in 1999 and designed to allow 40-meter-high ships to pass from underneath and above the bridge, a double transport for land vehicle crossings. Operations were expected to begin in 2009, but it was announced late 2010 that the project would be postponed.
Now, nearly 13 years after the government received this loan from the Qatari government, and after the deterioration of relations between the two countries, especially after Manama led the campaign of Qatar boycott with a number of Gulf states and Egypt in 2017, Doha is no longer interested in improving relations with the Manama government, and despite last year's Gulf Summit agreement (Al-Ula Summit), Al Khalifa's relations with Al Thani were not resolved.
Recently, information revealed the Qatari government's closure of the office of the foundation (The Bridge of Love), and the authorities' intention to demand $350 million. That's why Bahrain suddenly rushed to announce its commitment to the project through the undersecretary of the Ministry of Transportation, in order to procrastinate paying the loan, and claim that it is still interested in the project.
Bahrain's government, which is currently overflowing with money due to the oil prices increase, is unwilling to pay Qatar this amount, which could further worsen relations with Doha, and may lead to further tensions.