Saudi Arabia re-opens airspace, land and sea border with Qatar
Saudi Arabia and Qatar lower tensions.
Saudi Arabia has reopened its airspace and land and sea border to Qatar as of Monday.
The announcement by Kuwait’s foreign minister marks the easing of a political dispute that led Riyadh and its allies to impose a boycott on Qatar since 2017.
“Based on [Kuwait’s ruler Emir] Sheikh Nawaf’s proposal, it was agreed to open the airspace and land and sea borders between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar, starting from this evening,” Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah said Monday on state TV.
The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar signed the new agreement on Tuesday in the Saudi city of al-Ula.
Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani greeted each other at the airport with a long hug before attending the GCC’s summit meeting.
In June 2017, the blockading countries – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran.
As a result, the countries severed economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar with immediate effect.
The airspace ban for the past few years forced Qatar Airways planes to not only stop serving Saudi Arabian cities, but to avoid Saudi Arabian airspace entirely.
This caused some flights to spend significantly more time in the air to navigate around the newly-restricted airspace.