Qatar and Saudia Arabia reconcile at GCC summit after three-year rift

Relations are restored with Qatar after three year long division between Arabian Gulf nations

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa to the city of al-Ula in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Getty Images]

Arabian Gulf leaders signed a declaration Tuesday in Saudi Arabia to mark a new page in restoring diplomatic relations with Qatar following the kingdom’s decision to end the embargo on Qatar after more than 3 years.

The declaration came at the annual Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in the ancient city of Al-Ula where leaders from Saudi Arabia and its regional allies reached a breakthrough agreement with Qatar effectively ending three and a half year-long embargo and signalling the return of joint Gulf action to its normal course.

In a joint statement, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the rest of the GCC member states with Egypt pledged solidarity and signed an agreement that aims to strengthen unity and cohesion among members.

Saudi Arabia as well as Egypt have announced that they are reopening its airspace, sea and land borders with Qatar.

“We consider with great thanks and appreciation the efforts to heal the rift,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “We also commend, in this regard, the friendly endeavours of the United States of America, and all the parties that have contributed.”

“We have hope in a better future for the region,” Added Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in a tweet, “I thank my brothers in Saudi for their hospitality and generous welcome and I thank the brotherly state of Kuwait for their esteemed efforts.”

The decision to sever ties with Qatar came three years prior, resulting in severely strained relations between the Arabian Gulf nations.

A list of 13 demands was issued by GCC members for Qatar to bide be to be welcomed back into the fold, most controversially, the list calls for the shut down of Al-Jazeera, Qatar’s most profitable news outlet, terminating Turkish military presence in Qatar as well as curbing diplomatic relations with Iran.

The list stated Qatar has exactly ten days of agreeing to the demands or the list becomes void, though the document doesn’t specify what the countries will do if Qatar refuses to comply.

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