Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE are reportedly studying plans to relax some restrictions on Qatar as the first step towards a wider deal. UK publication The Guardian said the four countries were considering a proposal to lift restrictions on civilian travel to Qatar as a goodwill gesture after closing land, air and sea links as part of a boycott that began last June.
This would require the reopening of air routes that have forced regional travelers to extend their journeys with changes in Kuwait or Oman to reach Qatar.The report comes as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares to visit the UK for talks on Wednesday before heading to the US on March 19.
The US and UK have been seeking an end to the regional divide, which is centered on Qatar’s alleged support of terrorist groups, in part as it has driven the emirate closer to Iran.It is sure to be discussed by the crown prince and UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump during the two visits, despite the latter’s initial support.
The US wants to host the leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council later this year but is hoping for progress on the regional divide before then.To date, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE have demanded that Qatar close broadcaster Al Jazeera and sever ties with Iran under their conditions to end the boycott.
Via: The Guardian UK.
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