Saudi Arabia and Qatar Close to Ending Diplomatic Dispute

Written and Published December 18, 2020


Saudi Arabia and Qatar are in talks to end a diplomatic dispute that’s been ongoing since 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed a diplomatic, trade, and travel embargo on Qatar. Both the United States and Kuwait have worked with Saudi Arabia and Qatar to end the dispute and it looks like they are very close to a final agreement.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar Close to Ending Diplomatic Dispute

The Four Arab States Impose Sanctions on Qatar


Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain imposed sanctions on Qatar back in June of 2017. The four Arab countries accused Qatar of financing militant groups and having alleged ties to Iran. Qatar heavily denied these accusations.

The anti-Qatar states gave a list of 13 demands for Doha to fulfill in order to resolve the issues, which Doha denied claiming an attack on the countries sovereignty. As a consequence of these sanctions, Qatar was banned from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain airspace, making it very difficult for Qatar Airways. The airline was forced to make very long routes around the Arabian Peninsula in order to avoid the neighboring airspace. One of the biggest sources of revenue for Qatar were flights to and from Saudi Arabia, almost a fifth of all income, making this ban a huge financial hit for the airline as well.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar Close to Ending Diplomatic Dispute

Saudi Arabia and Qatar Close to Ending Diplomatic Dispute


Now, Saudi Arabia and Qatar announced that they are in talks and very close to ending this diplomatic dispute and removing the sanctions imposed on Qatar. The diplomatic talks between the two countries were mediated by the USA and Kuwait, and the first point on the agenda is ending the flight ban imposed on Qatar. Back in July of this year, Qatar launched a lawsuit against the countries imposing sanctions. Allegedly, if this deal is reached Qatar will also drop the lawsuit. The end of this dispute could mean a big financial gain for both Qatar and Qatar Airways.

Dr. Ahmed Nasser Mohammed AlSabah, Foreign Minister of the State of Kuwait said on his official Twitter page:
Fruitful discussions have taken place and progress towards a final agreement has been made in the previous period in which all parties have stressed their keenness on the Gulf and Arab solidarity and stability, and on reaching a final agreement that will achieve the permanent solidarity that they aim for and to realize all that is in the interest of their peoples.

This new agreement does not necessarily involve the other three countries that imposed sanctions on Qatar. There is still no official news from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.