Saudi Arabia and Qatar reopen airspace and maritime borders ahead of the Gulf Cooperation Council summit
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmed Nasser Muhammad Al-Sabah said on Monday on state television that „based on the placement of His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, may God protect him, it was agreed to open the air and sea borders as of today (Monday) between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.“
He said that the final agreement came as a result of a call mediated by the Emir of Kuwait with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
The diplomatic breakthrough comes a day before the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting, which Saudi Arabia is hosting on Tuesday.
The event will be attended by representatives from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Emir of Qatar will also attend the summit, which is his first visit to the country in three years.
In a statement, bin Salman said that the summit would focus on regional „unity and cohesion,“ according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). „Across [the summit] Hopes [Saudi] The Saudi Press Agency stated that the king and his brothers are leaders (of the Gulf Cooperation Council) for the sake of unity and cohesion, which will translate into facing the challenges of the region. „
A senior administration official told CNN on Monday that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, helped negotiate the reopening between the two countries, and a ceremony marking the achievement is also expected at Tuesday’s summit.
Recently, however, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have bridged the rift. At a hypothetical diplomatic conference in December, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said he was „optimistic“ about mending relations.
At the same conference, the Qatari Foreign Minister acknowledged the existence of moves to „put an end to the Gulf crisis.“
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