GCC leaders meet in Saudi Arabia amid a state of optimism

Gulf leaders are meeting in Saudi Arabia for their annual summit amid a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between a Saudi-led bloc and Qatar.

Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani arrived to Saudi Arabia, for the summit that is expected to see formal agreement towards ending a dispute that has seen Riyadh and its allies boycott Qatar.

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced the reopening of land borders with Qatar after a three and a half-year spat that saw the kingdom, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade ties and impose a land, sea and air blockade on the Gulf state.

The quartet accused Doha of, among other things, supporting terrorist groups and being too close to Iran, allegations that Qatar has consistently denied.

While the Saudi decision marks a major milestone towards resolving the Gulf crisis, the path to full reconciliation is far from guaranteed. The rift between Abu Dhabi and Doha has been deepest, with the UAE and Qatar at sharp ideological odds.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will attend Tuesday’s GCC summit, an official source was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Al Arabiya: Egypt says it will open its airspace with Qatar pending fulfillment of demands

Citing unnamed sources, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reported that Egypt will open its airspace with Qatar, adding that “implementation will be contingent on the fulfillment of Egyptian requirements”.

The Dubai-based news outlet gave no details on what demands the Egyptian government was after.