UAE to reopen land, sea, air borders with Qatar on Saturday

The move comes days after Saudi Arabia announced a breakthrough in ending the three-and-half-year Gulf dispute.

The UAE cut ties with Qatar in mid-2017 [File: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters]
The UAE cut ties with Qatar in mid-2017 [File: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will reopen all of its land, sea and air entry points with Qatar starting on Saturday, state news agency (WAM) reported on Friday.

The move comes days after Saudi Arabia announced a breakthrough in ending a bitter dispute between Gulf Arab states and Qatar at a summit on Tuesday.

The Saudi foreign minister said at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Al-Ula that Riyadh and its allies would restore all ties with Doha severed in mid-2017.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed the embargo on Qatar over allegations that it supports “extremism” and being too close to regional rival Iran. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott was aimed to curtail its sovereignty.

A UAE official told a virtual news conference on Thursday that Arab states boycotting Qatar could resume travel and trade links with Doha within a week of the US-backed agreement, but restoring diplomatic ties would require more time as parties work to rebuild trust.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said measures would include “practical measures of airlines, shipping and trade”.

Qatar Airways on Thursday said it would begin rerouting some of its flights through Saudi airspace.

Restored air links to the UAE’s regional aviation hub will be important for Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

Source: News Agencies

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