UAE to reopen borders with Qatar after diplomatic row ends

Qatar flag
Qatar flag

dpa/GNA – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will reopen its land, sea and air borders with Qatar starting from Saturday after an agreement was reached to end a years-long diplomatic dispute.

The step was announced Friday on the official UAE news agency WAM, which quoted a senior Foreign Ministry official.

It comes after Gulf leaders signed an agreement on Tuesday ending the rift between a Saudi-led bloc and Qatar at an annual summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a US-allied grouping.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and non-Gulf country Egypt severed diplomatic, trade and travel links with Qatar. They accused the energy-rich emirate of supporting Islamist militants, a charge that Qatar denies.

UAE Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khalid Abdullah said Friday that his country would start ending all measures taken in June 2017 against Qatar.

“The UAE will work for reopening all land, sea and air borders for the incoming and departure movement. The agencies concerned in the UAE have been directed on these measures that will take effect starting January 9,” he added, according to WAM.

The dispute was one of the most serious experienced by the six-nation GCC since it was created in 1981.

The bloc comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE.

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