Thursday, February 2, 2023

Land border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia reopens after Gulf crisis GCC news

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The vehicles cross the Saudi border from Qatar for the first time since mid-2017.

Vehicles have crossed Saudi Arabia’s land border from Qatar for the first time since four Arab states severed diplomatic and transport ties with Doha in mid-2017.

The development came on Saturday after an agreement this week to restore relations between Gulf neighbors.

“Yes, the border is open,” a Qatari source told AFP news agency, while another confirmed that traffic at the Abu Samra crossing point, 120 km south of Doha, has resumed around 07:00 GMT.

“It is good that the crisis is resolved and the warm welcome we have had, and the happiness we see in our brothers,” said the driver of the second car to cross the crossing on kingdom television. at Ekhbariya.

Zaid Muhammad al-Married, 23, a Qatari whose mother is Saudi, said: “It is a great joy, I bought this new car, a Land Cruiser, in order to go and celebrate with my relatives in Arabia. Arabia, and I took the coronavirus test and waited here hoping they would allow us to cross at any time.

Riyadh on Tuesday announced a US-backed deal to end a bitter conflict with Qatar that has seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt impose an embargo on Doha on allegations of support for “extremism” and Iran. Qatar denies the charges and says the boycott was aimed at reducing its sovereignty.

A United Arab Emirates official said this week that travel and trade could resume within a week of the deal, but restoring diplomatic ties takes more time as the parties work to rebuild confidence.

So far, no flights have resumed between Qatar and the four Arab states. Qatar Airways on Thursday began rerouting some of its flights into Saudi airspace.

Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi airline, intends to resume services between Abu Dhabi and Doha, a spokesperson said on Saturday.

Measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus are in place on both sides of the land border between Arabia and Qatar.

All arrivals at the Qatar crossing at Abu Samra must test negative for COVID-19, take a new border test and quarantine for a week at one of the many selected hotels, the Qatar news agency said. .


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