UN welcomes reopening of Saudi-Qatari borders

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) welcomes Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani upon his arrival to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council's 41st Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, January 5, 2021. (Photo: Reuters)

The United Nations on Tuesday welcomed the reopening of land, sea and air borders between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

"We do welcome the announcement to open the airspace, land and sea borders between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar. We hope that all countries involved in the dispute will act positively to continue to resolve their differences and stress the importance of Gulf unity for regional peace, security and development," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"We are also grateful to those who worked tirelessly towards resolving the Gulf rift, particularly the State of Kuwait. And we expect to have more upon the conclusion of the (Gulf) summit," he said.

The reopening of the Saudi-Qatari borders came on the eve of the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, which began on Tuesday in the Saudi city of Al-Ula, with the participation of the Qatari emir.

Accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, a Saudi-led Arab quartet, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 and imposed a full embargo on the Gulf state. However, Qatar has repeatedly denied all the charges.

The end of the crisis started on Monday with the decision by Saudi Arabia to reopen its airspace and borders to Qatar.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Tuesday hailed the end of the Gulf crisis with Qatar as a "new chapter" for the Gulf's security and stability.