First Qatari Royal Plane Lands in Saudi Arabia Since Blockade Imposed Two Years Ago

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File photo: Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani attends the 30th Arab Summit in Tunis, March 31, 2019.

Flight lands at Jeddah airport days after Saudi Arabia’s King Salman invited the emir of Qatar to participate in two Mecca summits, marking a detente between the Gulf countrie

Qatar Today tweeted that the plane “is landing at Jeddah airport for the first time since the outbreak of the Gulf crisis and the siege of Qatar.”

The move, a first in two years according to the Guardian, comes days after Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani received an invitation from Saui Arabia‘s King Salman to attemd two summits in Mecca, according to a statement by Qatar’s Foreign Ministry.

It confirmed on Sunday it has been invited by Saudi Arabia to attend the emergency summits, after previously saying it had not been.

Last week Qatar said it had not been invited to the two summits Saudi is planning in Islam’s holiest site to discuss the implications of drone strikes on oil installations in the kingdom and attacks on four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the United Arab Emirates coast earlier this month.

The invitation and a letter was passed to Qatar by the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed an economic and diplomatic boycott on Qatar since June 2017 over allegations that Doha supports terrorism and is cosying up to regional foe Iran. Qatar denies the charges.

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of ordering the drone strikes, for which Yemen‘s Iran-aligned Houthis claimed responsibility.

The kingdom said that while it did not want war in the region, it was ready to respond strongly. The UAE has not blamed anyone for the sabotage of the tankers pending an investigation, and said it was committed to de-escalation.

Iran has denied it carried out either attack.

The UAE has said that the current “critical circumstances” in the region required a “unified Arab and Gulf stance.”




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