Gulf Arab countries signed an agreement aimed at resolving a long-running dispute with Qatar on Tuesday, in a public reconciliation between Doha and its neighbors that paves the way for the end of an embargo on the tiny gas-rich nation, CNN reports.
Three Gulf Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates — along with Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in mid-2017 after accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar has repeatedly denied the accusations.
The boycotting countries, known as the Arab quartet, also cited political differences with Qatar over Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Doha, unlike its Gulf neighbors, has friendly relations with Tehran, supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and has hosted groups affiliated with the Islamist group.
The agreement was signed during the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in the Saudi city of al-Ula, where Qatar’s leader Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani met former regional foes.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received Sheikh Tamim, who set foot on Saudi soil for the first time since the start of the crisis, on the airport tarmac. The two leaders hugged, and images of the warm welcome were widely shared on regional social media.