January 5 (Al Jazeera) – Saudi Arabia will reopen its airspace and land and sea border to Qatar as of Monday, Kuwait’s foreign minister said, citing a deal towards resolving a political dispute that led Riyadh and its allies to impose a boycott on Qatar.
“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,” Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah said on state TV on Monday.
In his statement, Kuwait’s foreign minister said that the Kuwaiti emir had spoken with Qatar’s emir and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince.
The conversations “emphasised that everyone was keen on reunification” and would gather in Al-Ula [for the GCC summit] to sign a statement that promises to “usher in a bright page of brotherly relations”.
In June 2017, the blockading countries – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – accused Qatar, among other things, of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran and severed economic and diplomatic ties. They also imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar.
Qatar has repeatedly denied the allegations and said there was “no legitimate justification” for the severance of relations.
Kuwait has been mediating between Qatar and four Arab states.
Last month, the GCC said Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was invited to the bloc’s summit meeting, which will be held in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
On Monday evening, Qatar’s Government Communications Office confirmed that Sheikh Tamim will attend the summit that takes place in the northwestern Al-Ula province.
In remarks carried by the Saudi state-run news agency on Monday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the GCC summit will be “inclusive”, leading the states toward “reunification and solidarity in facing the challenges of our region”.
Shortly after the announcement, Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, described the upcoming summit as “historic”.