Gulf leaders are meeting in Saudi Arabia for their annual summit on Tuesday amid a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between a Saudi-led bloc and Qatar.
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.
Calm at Qatar-Saudi border crossing as regional meeting gets underway
The Abu Samra border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Qatar was quiet on Tuesday morning as a summit of the regional Gulf Cooperation Council got underway.
“People are still coming to the border point to inquire as to whether they can actually across but according to officials, there still hasn’t been any crossing on either side.”
Qatar emir lands in Saudi Arabia for landmark summit
Qatar’s ruler was warmly greeted by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on arrival in the kingdom for Tuesday’s GCC summit.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s Airbus A340, emblazoned with the word “QATAR” in the emirate’s signature burgundy, landed in Al-Ula, northwestern Saudi Arabia, shortly after 0900 GMT, Saudi state television showed.
Qatari stocks see rise sharp amid hopes of Gulf reconciliation
Asian stocks headed higher on Tuesday with Chinese stocks getting a boost after the New York Stock Exchange made a surprise about-turn on its decision to delist the shares of three of China’s biggest telecommunications companies.
Qatari stocks were also up sharply on hopes of a resolution to the years-long dispute with its Gulf neighbours, while crude oil investors were waiting for the outcome of a meeting of the world’s top producers to determine output levels.
Shares rose despite uncertainty about Senate runoffs in the US state of Georgia, which could have a big impact on incoming US President Joe Biden’s ability to pursue his preferred economic policies.
Egypt’s foreign minister to take part in Gulf Arab leaders’ summit – source
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will attend Tuesday’s GCC summit, an official source was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
Qatar more resilient after blockade: Analyst
Sultan Barakat, director of the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute, said Qatar has emerged as a more resilient country since the blockade was imposed more than three years ago.
Calm at Saudi-Qatar land border
The Abu Samra border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Qatar was quiet on Tuesday morning, several hours after Kuwait announced the border was open.
It is not yet clear what the rules are for crossing the border, however, Qatar is not allowing non-resident visitors into the country as part of COVID-19 restrictions.
“There still has been no crossings after yesterday’s announcement,” Al Jazeera’s Sorin Furcoi said, reporting from the border. “It’s even quieter than last night. They also don’t allow the press to hang around for too long in the customs area.”
Qatar emir heads to Saudi Arabia for Gulf summit: state media
Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani headed to Saudi Arabia, state media said, for a Gulf Arab summit that is expected to see formal agreement towards ending a dispute that has seen Riyadh and its allies boycott Qatar.