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WATCH: Saudi crown prince embraces Qatar emir forward of GCC Summit

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  • Emir of Qatar arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to attend GCC summit
  • Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted him with a good embrace on the airport
  • The 2 international locations had a diplomatic row since 2017
  • KSA additionally reopened its land, air, and sea borders with Qatar

AL-ULA, SAUDI ARABIA: The Emir of Qatar on Tuesday arrived in Saudi Arabia to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit the place he was greeted on the airport by the dominion’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with a good embrace.

Gulf leaders additionally signed a “solidarity and stability” take care of the Kingdom, bringing Doha again into the regional fold after a three-year rift.

Saudi Arabia led a coalition of nations within the Gulf and past that minimize ties and transport hyperlinks with Qatar in June 2017, charging that it was too near Iran and backed radical Islamist teams — allegations Doha has at all times denied.

These international locations, together with Oman and Kuwait which have mediated between the 2 sides, signed a rapprochement deal within the Saudi metropolis of Al-Ula, after Riyadh in a single day re-opened its land, sea and air borders to Doha.

“There is a desperate need today to unite our efforts to promote our region and to confront challenges that surround us, especially the threats posed by the Iranian regime´s nuclear and ballistic missile programme and its plans for sabotage and destruction,” mentioned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The main points of the settlement weren’t instantly launched, and analysts have warned that any deal may very well be preliminary in nature and will not instantly finish all the measures taken in opposition to Qatar.

However the heat welcome that Prince Mohammed prolonged to Qatar´s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, with the pair embracing on the airport after which chatting animatedly, signifies a major breakthrough.

Sheikh Tamim, visiting Saudi for the primary time because the disaster started, was then whisked with the opposite leaders by means of Al-Ula´s dramatic Martian panorama to the shimmering Maraya Live performance Corridor, a mirrored construction located in a close-by valley.

“These are the first steps or the first phase of reconciliation that will be followed by other steps. Some may belittle that progress, but resuming open direct communication and avoiding verbal attacks is progress,” mentioned Kuwait College assistant professor Bader al-Saif.

“The other states… will follow suit and pursue similar reconciliatory steps.”

US cheerleading

Washington had intensified strain for a decision to what Doha calls a “blockade”, insisting Gulf unity is critical to isolate US foe Iran because the curtain falls on Donald Trump´s presidency.

Jared Kushner, Trump´s son-in-law and senior adviser who shuttled across the area to hunt a deal, attended the signing in Al-Ula.

“The Trump administration will claim this as another victory for sure,” mentioned Royal United Companies Institute analyst Tobias Borck, stressing the boycott international locations had not but normalised relations with Qatar.

Kuwaiti Overseas Minister Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah introduced on state tv late Monday that “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”.

Drivers south of Doha on the normally calm Salwa freeway in direction of the Saudi border at Abu Samra sounded their horns and waved their arms from their automobile home windows within the wake of the announcement, an AFP correspondent reported.

“We will see all Saudis here, also all Qataris will visit Saudi Arabia, and we will be friends as we were before and better,” mentioned Hisham al-Hashmi, a Qatari with an Emirati mom, who wore a standard thobe and winter headdress.

Vivid new web page? 

Saudi media, which is influential all through the area, shortly adopted a tone in stark distinction to previous protection of Qatar which had targeted on previous transgressions and alleged crimes, as a substitute began speaking about “unity” and “fraternity”.

The Saudi-led GCC hawks, together with Egypt, in 2017 closed their airspace to Qatari planes, sealed their borders and ports, and expelled Qatari residents. An data battle raged on-line with the 2 camps buying and selling allegations and barbs, deepening the resentments.

Some observers have warned that the UAE may very well be the spoiler for reconciliation makes an attempt, having heaped criticism on Qatar within the wake of the spat.

Nonetheless, Abu Dhabi´s Minister of State for Overseas Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted a picture of the beautiful Maraya venue, saying that “from the Hall of Mirrors in Al-Ula, begins a bright new page”.

The UAE and Qatar, specifically, stay divided over Doha´s perceived assist for actions aligned to the Muslim Brotherhood and the 2 international locations´ backing for rival teams within the Libya battle.

Nonetheless, the diplomatic freeze has solely served to make Qatar extra self-sufficient and push it nearer to Iran, observers say. It has additionally harm Saudi strategic pursuits.

At the beginning of the disaster, the boycotting international locations issued a listing of 13 calls for to Doha, together with the closure of pan-Arab satellite tv for pc tv channel Al Jazeera, undertakings on “terror” financing, and the shuttering of a Turkish navy base in Qatar.

Qatar has not publicly bowed to any of the calls for.

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