Saudi, Qatar reopen land, air and sea borders between the countries, in a breakthrough agreement aimed at ending the three-year diplomatic dispute with Doha, announced Kuwait
AL-ULA, SAUDI ARABIA — Gulf Arab leaders arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for a summit focused on ending a long-running dispute with Qatar which shattered Gulf unity at a time of heightened regional tensions with Iran.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was met in the historic city of al-Ula by de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two men, wearing face masks, embraced on the tarmac.
Ahead of the gathering, Kuwait announced that Saudi Arabia, which along with allies boycotted Doha in mid-2017, would reopen its airspace and borders to Qatar under a deal that a senior US official said would be signed in the presence of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“The Kuwaiti emir made a phone call with the Qatari Emir and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, who both confirmed their intention to start a new beginning in their relations,” Xinhua news agency quoted Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Saba as saying in a televised address on Monday evening.
“Based on a suggestion from the Kuwaiti Emir, the two countries have agreed to reopen the land, air, and sea borders between the two countries as of today’s evening,” said Kuwaiti minister.
Other Gulf leaders arrived earlier and a source said Egypt’s foreign minister would attend the annual summit, postponed from its December date as Riyadh worked for a deal.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar over allegations Doha supports terrorism, a charge it denies.