Saudi Arabia and allies to restore ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia says it has agreed with three Arab nations that they will restore diplomatic relations with Qatar.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made the announcement after a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council held in al-Ula in the northwestern part of his country on Tuesday.

Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was invited to the meeting. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greeted him at the airport.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar in June 2017, citing its close relations with regional rival, Iran.
They stopped exchanges of people and goods to put pressure on Qatar to change its foreign policy.

They demanded that the country scale down diplomatic relations with Iran and Turkey, and shut down the Al Jazeera television network.

But Qatar refused to yield and instead deepened ties with the two countries.

The United States has been urging the Gulf states to mend ties with Qatar in the hope of uniting them to build an anti-Iran network.

It remains unclear whether Qatar will review its ties with Tehran and improve relations with other Gulf states as Saudi Arabia hopes.