Senegal reinstates Qatar ambassador, hopes for end to Gulf feud

FILE PHOTO: Senegal's Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye poses as he arrives for the opening of the Mideast peace conference in Paris, January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Samson/POOL

DAKAR (Reuters) - Senegal has reinstated its ambassador to Qatar in a bid to encourage the resolution of a dispute between Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies and Doha, the foreign ministry said.

Senegal recalled its ambassador three months ago along with other African countries such as Chad and Niger who followed suit and also expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia, whose charities funnel millions of dollars in aid money to the region.

“With this act, Senegal strongly encourages efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis between Qatar and neighboring countries,” said Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye in a statement in French sent to journalists late on Monday.

The majority Sunni country and Western ally has in the past shown support for Saudi Arabia by offering to send troops in 2015 to back a Saudi-led coalition fighting a Houthi rebellion. More recently, President Macky Sall attended a high-profile visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Riyadh in May.

Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg