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UAE to reopen land, sea and air entry points with Qatar

Abu Dhabi will open land, sea and air entry points with Qatar [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 January, 2021

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Abu Dhabi will open land, sea and air entry points with Qatar, after a landmark deal to normalise ties ended a damaging Gulf rift.
The UAE announced it will reopen all its borders with Qatar on Saturday, state news agency WAM reported on Friday.
Abu Dhabi will open land, sea and air entry points with Qatar, after a landmark deal to normalise ties ended a damaging Gulf rift.

The announcement comes after UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Thursday that Gulf states will restore travel, trade and transport links with Doha within a week.

Saudi Arabia and its allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, in June 2017 slapped a boycott on Qatar over claims it backed Islamist groups and was too close to Iran – accusations Doha strongly rejects.

The quartet agreed to lift the restrictions at a summit Tuesday in the Saudi desert city of Al-Ula.

Read also: How the GCC reconciliation deal could reshape the region's power balance

Gargash said that although rebuilding confidence and addressing difficult geopolitical issues were longer-term tasks, there was a push to quickly restore physical links.

"The practical measures will be within a week… including travel, transportation, trade etc," he told a press briefing, also flagging the prompt reopening of diplomatic missions. 

The UAE is "behind this deal, and positive about the prospect of re-establishing relations with Qatar," he said. 

"We recognise that any crisis will leave its repercussions, and dealing with the repercussions from that perspective will take some time."

Restored air links to the UAE's regional aviation hub will be important for Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

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