Egypt signs reconciliation deal with Qatar

The Saudi foreign minister has said that Saudi Arabia and its three Arab allies agreed to restore full ties with Qatar.

His remarks came after Gulf leaders signed a “solidarity and stability” agreement in Saudi Arabia as they met for the Gulf Cooperation Council annual summit on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced the reopening of land borders with Qatar after a three and a half-year spat that saw the kingdom, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade ties and impose a land, sea and air blockade on the Gulf state.

The quartet accused Doha of, among other things, supporting terrorist groups and being too close to Iran, allegations that Qatar has consistently denied.

While the Saudi decision marks a major milestone towards resolving the Gulf crisis, the path to full reconciliation is far from guaranteed. The rift between Abu Dhabi and Doha has been deepest, with the UAE and Qatar at sharp ideological odds.

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced the reopening of land borders with Qatar after a three and a half-year spat that saw the kingdom, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade ties and impose a land, sea and air blockade on the Gulf state.

The quartet accused Doha of, among other things, supporting terrorist groups and being too close to Iran, allegations that Qatar has consistently denied.

While the Saudi decision marks a major milestone towards resolving the Gulf crisis, the path to full reconciliation is far from guaranteed. The rift between Abu Dhabi and Doha has been deepest, with the UAE and Qatar at sharp ideological odds.

Here’s a timeline of the recent developments:

UAE official said rebuilding trust required to end Gulf dispute

A senior United Arab Emirates official voiced optimism over the agreement, but said trust-building measures were needed to reestablish ties.

“We need to be realistic about the need to restore confidence and restore cohesion,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told Al Arabiya television.

Zarif congratulates Qatar

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif congratulated Qatar after the announcement of the GCC deal.

“Congratulations to Qatar for the success of its brave resistance to pressure & extortion,” he wrote on Twitter.

He added: “To our other Arab neighbors: Iran is neither an enemy nor threat. Enough scapegoating-especially with your reckless patron on his way out. Time to take our offer for a strong region.”

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