AL ULA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – The Arab leaders of the Gulf are gathering in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for a summit that is expected to officially settle an agreement to end a longstanding dispute with Qatar, the destroyed the unity of the Gulf at a time of increasing regional tensions with Iran.
Riyadh, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and non-Gulf Egypt severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar in mid-2017 over allegations that Doha supported terrorism. Qatar denies this, saying the boycott is aimed at curbing its sovereignty.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani from Qatar traveled to al-Ula, where the summit is taking place, state media reported after it was announced that Saudi Arabia would use its airspace and sea and land borders with Qatar as part of a Reopening of the agreement will be a Senior U. . S.. . Official said it would be signed on Tuesday.
Bahrain is represented by its crown prince in place of the king at the annual summit, and the UAE delegation is led by the vice-president of the federation, who is also ruler of Dubai.
While Saudi Arabia made it clear that it intended to lift the embargo, the other three countries did not immediately comment on the issue, but rather the U.. . S.. . Officials said « it is our expectation » that they would join too. Under the looming deal, Qatar will suspend boycott-related lawsuits, the official said.
All countries are U. . S.. . Allies. Qatar is home to the largest underground in the region. S.. . Military base, Bahrain is home to the U. . S.. . The Navy’s fifth fleet, plus Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will host the U. . S.. . troops.
The development is the latest in a series of Middle East deals that Washington – the others that involve Israel and Arab states – sought to build a united front against Iran.
White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, appointed by President Donald Trump to handle the dispute, will attend the ceremony along with Middle East Envoy Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook, a specialty State Department the historic city of al-Ula attend advisers.
Reporting by Raya Jalabi in Dubai; Letter from Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Tom Hogue and John Stonestreet
All offers were delayed by at least 15 minutes. A full list of exchanges and delays can be found here.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Persian Gulf, Bahrain
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