Qatar ruler lands in Saudi Arabia for summit to end blockade

Qatar ruler lands in Saudi Arabia for summit to end blockade
Airplanes of Arab states are seen at Al Ula airport, Saudi Arabia, where leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will meet for a summit Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Source: AP
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: The ruling emir of Qatar arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and was greeted with an embrace by the kingdom’s crown prince, following an announcement that Saudi Arabia would end its yearslong embargo on the tiny Gulf Arab state.

The move to open borders was the first major step toward ending the diplomatic crisis that has deeply divided US defense partners, frayed societal ties and torn apart a traditionally clubby alliance of Arab states.

The arrival of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Saudi Arabia’s ancient desert city of Al-Ula was broadcast live on Saudi TV. He was seen descending from his plane and being greeted with a hug by Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is in Al-Ula for an annual summit of Gulf Arab leaders that is expected to produce a détente between Qatar and four Arab states that have boycotted the country and cut diplomatic and transport links with it since mid-2017 over Doha’s support for Islamist groups and warm ties with Iran.

The diplomatic breakthrough comes after a final push by fellow Gulf state Kuwait and the outgoing Trump administration and to mediate an end to the crisis.

It was not until late Monday — on the eve of the summit and just ahead of Joe Biden’s swearing in — that the major step to ending the spat was announced.

You may read: Trump says he’ll ‘fight like hell’ to hold on to presidency