Saudi Arabia and Qatar very close to ending their dispute after more than three years


Saudi Arabia and Qatar are very close to sealing a preliminary agreement to end the dispute they have had for three years, when the kingdom imposed a boycott on the Qataris together with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, and which has been sponsored with the support of the United States, according to Bloomberg and Al Jazeera.

According to the sources consulted by both media, the agreement does not include the other three countries that also imposed the boycott of Qatar in June 2017 and comes after the visit made in recent days to the region by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law. and his envoy for the Middle East.

During his tour, according to Al Jazeera, Kushner has met with the Saudi crown prince, Mohamed bin Salman, in Riyadh, as well as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, in Doha. According to sources consulted by Bloomberg, the agreement is also the result of intense diplomatic efforts in recent months by Kuwait.

The approach will most likely include the reopening of airspace and land borders, the end of the information war that the two countries have maintained at this time and other measures to restore confidence, according to two of the sources familiar with the pact consulted by Bloomberg. Another has indicated that there are still unresolved issues, mainly the relationship between Doha and Tehran.

The boycott of Qatar was promoted mainly by Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, although the latter country has been much more reluctant to amend its relations with Doha and seems to have currently bet on boosting its flourishing relationship with Israel, a country with which it has signed a peace deal, while avoiding an escalation with Iran, according to diplomatic sources and analysts.

In the case of Saudi Arabia –which would also be immersed in a rapprochement with Israel–, in Riyadh there is concern that the arrival of Joe Biden to the White House will mean less pressure on Iran than that exerted by Trump, which would leave his most exposed oil facilities, according to these sources.

The three Gulf countries and Egypt agreed to boycott Qatar after accusing the country of supporting terrorist groups and undermining attempts to isolate Iran, Riyadh’s number one enemy, although the measure has not made Doha, which has denied at all times the accusations against him and has not complied with the demands imposed to lift the blockade, including the closure of the Al Jazeera television network.

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