Skip to main content

Saudi Arabia agrees to open airspace, border to Qatar

The agreement, announced by Kuwait, could spell an end to the diplomatic crisis between the two Gulf states that began in 2017.
A general view of the Qatari side of the Abu Samrah border crossing with Saudi Arabia on June 23, 2017. 
On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, pulling their ambassadors from the gas-rich emirate and giving its citizens a two-week deadline to leave their territory. The measures also included closing Qatar's only land border, banning its planes from using their airspace and barring Qatari nationals from transiting through their airports. / AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFAR        (

Saudi Arabia has agreed to open its borders with Qatar, Kuwait’s top diplomat said today, in a major development in the rift between the two Gulf states.

Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah announced on Monday the agreement to open the airspace and land and sea borders between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia and its allies Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt closed their borders to Qatar. They alleged that Qatar was funding terrorism, which Qatar denied. Qatar in turn mounted legal challenges to the quartet’s actions. The conflict also related to Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its relatively friendly relations with Iran.

While the Kuwaiti announcement does not spell an end to the Gulf rift, one of Qatar’s pre-conditions to ending the dispute was the lifting of the border closures, Qatari state-owned Al Jazeera reported.

Kuwait has acted as a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Qatar since the diplomatic crisis began.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, in which both Riyadh and Doha participate, will meet tomorrow in Saudi Arabia. The two states will continue discussing the issue at the event, according to Sabah.

The agreement will be welcome news in Washington. Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar last month as part of the Trump administration’s last-ditch effort to mend ties between its allies.

This is a developing story…

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial