Egypt reopening airspace to Qatar after 3½-year row

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Jan 12, 2021

Egypt reopened its airspace to flights from Qatar, state media reported Tuesday, in an additional easing of its row with the Gulf state. 

The head of Egypt’s Civil Aviation Authority, Ashraf Noweir, advised Ahram Online that Egypt had signed off on a request for Qatari plane to fly over Egyptian airspace. Noweir added that aviation authorities have been ready on flight schedules from EgyptAir and Qatar Airways.

A Qatar Airways flight will land in Cairo on Friday, airport officers advised The Associated Press. The flight can be the primary between the 2 international locations since Egypt joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in imposing an air, land and sea embargo on Qatar in June 2017. The Saudi-led bloc additionally severed diplomatic relations with the gas-rich nation, accusing it of funding terrorism and backing its regional rival Iran. 

Qatar denied the allegations and refused to adjust to the quartet’s 13 situations for lifting the 3½-year blockade, together with slicing ties with Iran and shutting down the Qatari-funded Al Jazeera TV community.

Kuwait and the Trump administration helped dealer an finish to the diplomatic disaster. A deal to revive relations with Qatar was reached throughout the annual summit of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, which was held Jan. 5 within the Saudi desert metropolis of Al-Ula. A day earlier than, Saudi Arabia agreed to carry its yearslong blockade of Qatar. 

A industrial aircraft landed in Saudi Arabia from Qatar’s Doha Airport on Monday within the first direct flight since 2017. The similar day, Bahrain opened its airspace to Qatar, the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported. 

The UAE reopened its land, sea, air ports to Qatar over the weekend, however the Emirati international minister warned that establishing diplomatic relations with its former regional rival might take longer.