The land border has mostly been closed since mid-2017 when Qatar accused Islamist groups of supporting
In the first moves towards resolving a diplomatic crisis that has deeply divided regional U.S. allies since 2017, Saudi Arabia will reopen its land and sea borders with Qatar. As part of an agreement to resolve a political conflict that led Riyadh and its allies to enforce a boycott on Qatar, Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry announced the move on Monday. The state-run Kuwait News Agency declared that Saudi Arabia would open its borders with Qatar from Monday night onwards. Since mid-2017, when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain put a blockade on the tiny Gulf state, accusing it of supporting Islamist groups in the region and maintaining close relations with Iran, Qatar’s sole land border has been mostly closed. The lifting of the embargo by Saudi Arabia paves the way for the ruler of Qatar to attend a summit of Gulf leaders to be held on Tuesday in the desert city of Al-Ula, chaired by Saudi King Salman. The summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council will be “inclusive” and will lead states to “reunification and solidarity in addressing the challenges of our region,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was quoted in a statement by the state-run Saudi News Agency. The decision of the close U.S. ally comes in the final days of the term of the Trump administration and just before the president-elect.