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Kuwait foreign minister: Saudi-Qatar air, land and sea borders to open tonight

Kuwait’s Foreign Minister said on Monday that an agreement had been reached to open the airspace and land and sea borders between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, starting this evening.

Ahmad Al Sabah said that during a phone call between Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Sabah and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the desire for unity and “reunification was emphasised”. Based on a proposal by Sheikh Naway, it was agreed that the borders between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would be re-opened. It was also agreed that the signing of Al Ula statement, would mark “the beginning of a bright page in fraternal relations”, Kuna reported.

The agreement comes on the eve of the 41st Gulf Co-operation Council Summit, being held in Al Ula in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. There is no official statement from Saudi Arabia or Qatar on the agreement.

“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 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 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said Qatar’s emir was invited to the bloc’s summit meeting next week in Saudi Arabia amid efforts to heal the rifts.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received a formal invitation from Saudi King Salman to the January 5 summit of the six-nation GCC.

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”.

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