We show you our most important and recent visitors news details UAE announces reopening of borders to Qatar on Saturday in the following article
Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - “The UAE will work with Qatar to end all other outstanding issues through bilateral talks,” said a UAE foreign ministry statement.
Journalists stand near a screen showing the plane carrying Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as it lands upon his arrival to attend the GCC 41st Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia January 5, 2021. (REUTERS)
DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates announced on Friday that it would reopen its land, air and sea borders with Qatar on Saturday.
The official WAM news agency quoted Khalid Abdullah Belhoul, undersecretary of the UAE foreign ministry, as saying that “the UAE will begin to end all measures taken against the State of Qatar according to the statement issued on 5th June, 2017, following the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration.”
Belhoul noted that “the Al-Ula Declaration, and the associated permanent agreement of GCC solidarity, is considered a Gulf and Arab achievement that promotes and bolsters the cohesion of the GCC, Arab and Islamic unity.”
He indicated that the UAE will work “to re-open all land, sea and air ports for inbound and outbound movement, and that all relevant authorities in the UAE have been notified of these measures which will go into effect as of 9 January.”
Belhoul added the UAE “will work with the State of Qatar to resolve all other outstanding issues through bilateral talks,” indicating that the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Qatar would take longer than resuming air connections.
Opposition to Qatar’s support for Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood runs deeper in the UAE than in Saudi Arabia, which is primarily concerned with Qatar’s close ties with regional foe Iran.
Bahrain and Egypt, which had joined the UAE and Saudi Arabia in isolating Doha, have yet to publicly elaborate on their pledges to ease the boycott signed this week in the ancient Saudi desert site of Al-Ula.
There are no clear details yet on what the reconciliation between the boycotting countries and Qatar really entitles and what calendar it would follow.
The four Arab states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt– severed commercial and diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing the country of cozying up to Iran and financing extremist groups in the region, charges Doha denies.
This week’s breakthrough followed a final push by the outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump, which has been seeking to end the dispute that has troubled America’s foreign policy and defence strategy in the region and hampered US attempts to further isolate Iran.
Iran has taken advantage of Qatar Airways’ change of routes through Iranian skies. Analysts estimate the move has given the Islamic Republic hundreds of millions of dollars in overflight fees.
The reopening of Saudi and Emirati airspace to Qatar is critical for Doha as it prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is expected to draw over 1 million foreign football fans.
On Thursday, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash announced that trade and transportation with Qatar could resume within a week.
“Practical measures aimed at turning a new page with Qatar will be implemented within a week of the agreement, including travel, shipping, and trade,” Gargash said.
The UAE move comes after Saudi Arabia declared a breakthrough in settling the years-long rift with Qatar during the annual Gulf summit this week, saying the kingdom would restore diplomatic ties and that its allies would follow suit.
Saudi Arabia announced the reopening of its airspace and borders with Qatar earlier this week. National carrier Qatar Airways said it had started to reroute some flights through Saudi airspace, with the first flight cruising over Saudi skies from Doha to Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday night.
The president of the United Nations’ civil aviation arm, Salvatore Sciacchitano, welcomed the easing of Gulf airspace restrictions on Thursday, saying the resolution would “help assure the important socio-economic benefits of international air connectivity can be better optimised.”
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