AL-ULA, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Qatar’s ruling emir arrived in Saudi Arabia and was greeted with a hug by his crown prince on Tuesday, following an announcement that the state would end its years-old avatar over the small Gulf Arab state .
The decision to open borders was the first major step towards ending the diplomatic crisis that has divided American defense partners, social relations, and broken the traditionally clubby coalition of Arab states.
The arrival of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in the state’s ancient desert city of Al-Ula was broadcast live on Saudi TV. He was seen getting off his plane and being greeted with a hug by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, although both wore face masks due to coronovirus precautions.
The Gulf in Amir al-Ullah is for an annual summit of Arab leaders expected to build a country between Qatar and the four Arab states that have led to Islam’s transportation and diplomatic relations since Doha mid-2017 Has been cut. Group and warm relations with Iran.
Diplomatic success is a final push by the outgoing Trump administration and fellow Gulf state Kuwait to end the crisis. It was not until late Monday evening – on the eve of the summit and just before the presidential election that Joe Biden was sworn in – that the decision to end the spot was announced.
The timing was auspicious: Saudi Arabia could demand both to provide a final diplomatic victory to the Trump administration and to remove the stag to build a warm relationship with the Biden administration, which is expected to adopt a stronger stance toward the state.
It was unclear what, if any, significant concessions Qatar had made to shift its policies. The boycott largely failed to replace Doha’s regional currency, instead provoking Sheikh Tamim domestically, as the Patriots swept through Qatar in support of his resolution.
The boycott pushed Qatar closer to Saudi rivals Turkey and Iran, When it faced a shortage of medical and food supplies in the first days of the Gulf, the ultra-rich Gulf arrived to support the state.
Qatar’s only land border, which it relied on for imports of dairy products, construction materials and other goods in Saudi Arabia, has mostly been closed since mid-June 2017, when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain began its boycott in the small but influential Persian Gulf country.
While Saudi’s decision to open its airspace, land and sea borders with Qatar has been described as a milestone towards resolving the dispute, the path towards complete reconciliation remains far from guaranteed. The rift between Abu Dhabi and Doha has been at its deepest, with UAE and Qatar at intense ideological barriers.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted late on Monday that his country was keen to restore Gulf unity, but added: “We have more to work on.”
In addition to a signing ceremony with Saudi Arabia at Tuesday’s summit, Qatar and the UAE are expected to see some form of détente between Egypt and Bahrain. The meeting in al-Ula would be traditionally chaired by Saudi King Salman, although his son and heir, the prince, could lead it instead.
Qatari Imir has only once attended the summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council – when it was hosted by Kuwait – ever since the boycott began. He sent an envoy to the following two summits held in Saudi Arabia.
This year, the Egyptian Foreign Minister is also attending the summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council of six countries, which includes Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is making moves toward Saudi reconciliation after he visited the state and Qatar to end the rift. Kushner has reportedly been invited to attend the signing ceremony at Al-Ulla.
This is the first GCC summit after the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco announced rapid succession, which would normalize relations with Israel as a major shift in regional alliances. It is also the first time the longtime leaders of both Oman and Kuwait have died, heralding a new crop of hereditary rulers. The youngest royals at the summit are, 40-year-old, Sheikh Tamim and 35-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to terminate not only underscores the state’s claim to its overwhelming position among Arab states, but also its regional leadership, which has been challenged at times by the UAE’s unilateral and politically weak moves is.
The state is most concerned with confronting Iran, while the UAE’s highest concern is blunting any Islamic footprint in the region.
It is heartily shared that Qatar’s close ties with Turkey and Iran have reduced regional security. Egypt and the UAE see Qatar and Turkey’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood as a security threat and consider the group a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are primarily concerned with Qatar’s close ties with Iran.
Those catastrophic tensions boiled over in the summer of 2017, when four countries cut transport and diplomatic links with Qatar to press for a change in their policies. The boycott countries made a list of demands on Qatar Which included shutting down its major al-Jazeera news network And ending the Turkish military presence in Qatar, which is also home to a major US military base. Qatar has categorically rejected the demands, and denied support for the extremists.
State-related media in the UAE and Qatar advocated vicious attacks back and forth. Qatar also reveals UAE’s hand behind hacking In 2017 its state news agency, while the UAE’s influential ambassador in Washington, noticed that its emails were later hacked and leaked.
The Qatar boycott pitted regional American allies against each other at a time when the Trump administration was working to exert pressure on Iran. It also separated the families that married the Qataris. And ended years of visa-free travel to the Qataris in some parts of the Gulf.
In a sign that hostilities continue to escalate, Qatar protested last month at the UN Security Council that Bahraini fighters “violated” Qatari airspace in early December. Meanwhile, Bahrain has accused Qatar’s coast guard of arbitrary dozens of Bahrain fishing vessels.
Conflict in Libya is also a controversial issue, with Egypt and the UAE supporting militias fighting the Tripoli-based bloc supported by Turkey and Qatar.
Buttervi and Debre reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writer Samee Maggie in Cairo contributed to this report.