Saudi Arabia, in addition to multiple other Arab nations, is set for a renewal of diplomatic ties with Qatar as the embargo from 2017 comes to an end; A signing took place in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday with hopes of a renewed sense of stability in the region.
Following a multi-year embargo on Qatar targeting trade and travel, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition to several other Arab countries, is renewing its diplomatic ties with the small Gulf State as of today. Qatari Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and was greeted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The embargo was placed on Qatar back in 2017 after the Gulf State was accused of sponsoring terrorism.
Arab leaders from the Gulf region met up in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for an annual meeting known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). As part of the event, an announcement was expected to have been made that the normalization of diplomatic ties between Qatar and the others has been reinstituted. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the other countries involved in the embargo on Qatar include Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Once again, the current White House administration played a significant role. Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner, who called the agreement a “breakthrough,” attended the GCC among other White House officials.
One high-ranking White House official stated, “It’s just a massive breakthrough. The blockade will be lifted. It will allow for travel amongst the countries as well as goods. It will lead to more stability in the region.”
One area of common ground that each of the six Gulf States in attendance share is the threat of Iran. Bin Salman said, “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 program and its plans for sabotage and destruction.”
Beginning next week, the Saudi Kingdom will reopen its airspace to Qatar in addition to its land and sea border.