Gulf leaders arrive for key Saudi Arabia summit

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on January 5, 2021 - Duration: 01:48s

Gulf leaders arrive for key Saudi Arabia summit

Gulf Arab leaders arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for a summit focused on ending a long-running dispute with Qatar, at a time of heightened regional tensions with Iran.

Adam Reed reports.

Gulf leaders arrive for key Saudi Arabia summit

Warm embraces for Gulf leaders as they met on the tarmac after arriving in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, (January 5) for a summit to end the long-running dispute with Qatar.

Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani ahead of the sit down talks.

Washington is keen to push for a united Gulf front to contain the actions of Iran.

It follows recent breakthroughs between Israel and several Arab states.

Before the gathering, Kuwait announced that Saudi Arabia, which along with allies boycotted Doha in mid-2017, would reopen its airspace and borders to Qatar.

According to a senior U.S. official, that agreement would be formally signed in the presence of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt severed diplomatic, trade, and travel ties with Qatar over allegations that Doha supports terrorism - a charge it denies.

The UAE and Egypt are at cross purposes with Qatar in Libya and over the Muslim Brotherhood.

All the states are U.S. allies.

Qatar hosts the region's largest U.S. military base, Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navyโ€™s Fifth Fleet, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE host U.S. troops.

Qatar says the boycott aims to curb its sovereignty.

The other countries had set Doha 13 demands, including closing Al Jazeera TV, shuttering a Turkish base, cutting links to the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading ties with Iran.

Diplomats and analysts say Saudi Arabia was pushing reluctant allies for the deal to show U.S. President-elect Joe Biden that Riyadh is open to dialogue.

Biden has said he will take a harder line with the kingdom over its human rights record and the Yemen war.

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