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Saudi Arabia to open airspace, borders to Qatar

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Gulf leaders pose for an official photograph in this handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on January 5. BANDAR AL-JALOUD Saudi Royal Palace/AFP

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Saudi Arabia will reopen its borders and airspace to Qatar, US and Kuwaiti officials said Monday, a major step towards ending a diplomatic rift that has seen Riyadh lead an alliance isolating Doha.

The bombshell announcement came on the eve of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) annual summit in the northwestern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Ula, where the dispute was already set to top the agenda.

In another sign the three and a half year spat was nearing resolution, the office of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said that he would attend, after he skipped the annual meetings for the last three years.

 

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