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5 Jan, 2021 12:46

Qatar’s ruler arrives in Saudi Arabia, as US defense partners take major step to reestablish relations (VIDEO)

Qatar’s ruler arrives in Saudi Arabia, as US defense partners take major step to reestablish relations (VIDEO)

The Emir of Qatar has arrived in Saudi Arabia ahead of a Gulf Cooperation Council summit in the country, marking a major step for the US allies who have been in a diplomatic dispute for three years.

Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was hugged by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as he stepped off his plane, following the reopening of land, sea and air borders and lifting of a blockade by the kingdom, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates against the Gulf state.

The US has been working to broker a deal between the two sides in an attempt to end the standoff. Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has traveled to both Saudi Arabia and Qatar to negotiate the details of the agreement and will be in attendance at the summit in AlUla on Tuesday, where the full deal is expected to be signed. 

The Saudi Crown Prince described the event as being focused on “reunification and solidarity in facing the challenges of our region” and the six nations at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are expected to also sign a joint statement that will pledge to “usher in a bright page of brotherly relations”.

Also on rt.com Saudi Arabia may end blockade of Qatar after Trump adviser Jared Kushner brokers deal

When the boycott was launched in 2017, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations issued a list of demands to Qatar, including shuttering its Al-Jazeera news agency, ending any joint military cooperation with Turkey in the country and aligning itself militarily, politically, socially and economically with the other Gulf and Arab countries. However, Qatar has done little to address the dictates laid down by Saudi Arabia.

While the meeting marks a step towards reestablishing normal relations between the countries, the only demand that has been met so far, according to the Trump administration, is that Qatar will cease its lawsuits against the countries that blockaded it. 

The timing of the announcement, in the final days of the Trump administration, is being seen as Saudi Arabia giving a final foreign policy victory to the outgoing president and removing any potential hurdles that might impact the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the incoming Biden team. 

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