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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Saudi Arabia to Reopen Airspace, Land and Sea Borders with Qatar

Saudi Arabia reopened its airspace and land and sea borders with Qatar on Jan. 4 in an agreement aimed at resolving a three-year political dispute, Kuwait’s foreign minister announced.

Saudi Arabia reopened its airspace and land and sea borders with Qatar on Jan. 4 in an agreement aimed at resolving a three-year political dispute, Kuwait’s foreign minister announced.

“An agreement has been reached to open airspace and land and sea borders between Saudi Arabia and Qatar as of this evening,” Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah said on Jan. 4 on state television, adding that it was based on the proposal of Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah, the emir of Kuwait.

Kuwait’s foreign minister also said that Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah had a conversation with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that “emphasized that everyone was keen on reunification” and that the agreement would “usher in a bright page of brotherly relations.”

The full agreement is expected to be signed on Jan. 5 at the annual summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council leaders in the city if Al-Ula in Saudi Arabia, ending the blockade that Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Bahrain first imposed in June 2017 as they accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran.

Qatar has repeatedly denied the accusations and said that there was “no legitimate justification” for the blockade.

In exchange for lifting the blockade, Qatar will not pursue lawsuits related to the blockade.

A senior Trump administration official called the agreement “a massive breakthrough,” claiming that it will lead to “more stability in the region.”

“We stand before a historic summit in Al-Ula, through which we restore our Gulf cohesion and ensure that security, stability and prosperity is our top priority. We have more work ahead and we are headed in the right direction,” UAE’s Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash stated.

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