The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt led by Saudi Arabia have ended the 3-year air, sea and land blockade and embargo on Qatar which started in 2017.
Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim Al Thani was warmly greeted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with a brief but symbolic hug as he arrived in Al-Ula, a city near Medina.
UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had followed Saudi Arabia during the blockade supported the resumption of normalisation with Qatar.
Qatar rejected the earlier conditions for ending the blockade, which included shutting down the Qatar owned Al Jazeera news network.
Saudi Arabia had also accused Qatar of supporting terrorists and criticised the gas rich kingdom’s growing relations with Iran, but now, relations between both countries have normalised with major demands at the start of the blockade being rejected by Qatar.
US mediators, including President Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner is believed to have played an instrumental role in normalising relations between Qatar and the four Gulf countries.
“These efforts helped us reach the agreement of the Al-Ula statement that will be signed at this summit, where we affirm our Gulf, Arab and Islamic solidarity and stability,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an opening speech.
“There is a desperate need today to unite our efforts to promote our region and to confront challenges that surround us, especially the threats posed by the Iranian regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme and its plans for sabotage and destruction,” he added.