Qatar: Arab international locations agree to finish years-long feud with Doha that divided Gulf

Three Gulf Arab international locations — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates — together with Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in mid-2017 after accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The boycotting international locations, generally known as the Arab quartet, additionally cited political variations with Qatar over Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Doha, in contrast to its Gulf neighbors, has pleasant relations with Tehran, supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and has hosted teams affiliated with the Islamist group.

The settlement was signed through the Gulf Cooperation Council summit within the Saudi metropolis of al-Ula, the place Qatar’s chief Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani met former regional foes.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman acquired Sheikh Tamim, who set foot on Saudi soil for the primary time because the begin of the disaster, on the airport tarmac. The 2 leaders hugged, and pictures of the nice and cozy welcome have been extensively shared on regional social media.

Throughout the signing of the assertion, the Saudi Crown Prince referred to as on Arab states to affix ranks to counter the dominion’s regional archrival, Iran.

“At present, we’re in dire must unite our efforts to advance our area and face the challenges that encompass us,” mentioned bin Salman. “Particularly the threats posed by the Iranian regime’s nuclear program, its ballistic missile program, and its damaging sabotage tasks which can be adopted by (Iran’s) terrorist and sectarian proxies and their actions which can be geared toward destabilizing safety and stability within the area.”

Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who’s credited with serving to to usher within the detente, was within the room the place the settlement was being signed.

A public reconciliation between Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani appears to set the stage for a Gulf detente.

‘A brilliant new web page’

Forward of the summit, Kuwait’s overseas minister introduced Monday that Saudi Arabia would reopen its airspace and borders to Qatar. Kuwait, which has mediated the disaster because it started, mentioned the ultimate settlement was the results of a name between Kuwaiti Emir Nawaf al Ahmad al Sabah, the Qatari Emir and the Saudi Crown Prince.

Bin Salman was elevated from Deputy Crown Prince to Crown Prince a month after the beginning of the dispute, and is extensively seen as an architect of the Qatar boycott. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, who isn’t attending the GCC summit, was additionally seen as a driving pressure behind the bid to isolate Doha.

The embargo got here at a time of heightened tensions with Iran, and fractured Gulf Arab unity. The quartet introduced 13 sweeping calls for, together with the closure of Doha’s pan-Arab TV station Al Jazeera, ending Turkey’s navy presence in Qatar, and curbing diplomatic ties with Iran.

Because the dispute apparently nears an finish, it’s unclear if any of the preliminary preconditions to finish the spat have been met. Al Jazeera continues to broadcast, and Doha’s relations with Tehran and Ankara seem intact. The small print within the assertion signed Tuesday weren’t launched.

The UAE’s minister of state for overseas affairs, Anwar Gargash, mentioned Tuesday’s summit marked the start of “a brilliant new web page.”

Saudi Arabia first signaled breakthrough on the Qatar disaster was afoot final month. Regional pundits say that Riyadh could also be expediting a decision with a purpose to enhance its standing with the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden.

Saudi Arabia has has robust relations with the Trump White Home, which empowered their bid to comprise Iran. However a Biden presidency might put them in uncharted waters. As a presidential candidate, Biden promised to finish US help for the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen, and has vowed to finish Washington’s “clean test” to the dominion.

CNN’s Hande Atay Alam and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.

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