Saudi Arabia and Qatar are reportedly approaching a preliminary deal to end their more than three-year crisis, with mediation efforts from the US administration, Bloomberg reported, citing informed sources
According to a Bloomberg source, the deal does not cover the remaining three countries that announced their severance of ties with Qatar in June 2017: Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain.
The source noted that a broader arrangement remained elusive because some outstanding issues remained, including Doha’s friendly relations with Tehran.
Bloomberg wrote that the potential breakthrough comes after months of vigorous Kuwaiti-brokered diplomatic efforts, which came to fruition after the “final momentum” of Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump and envoy to the Middle East, who visited the Gulf region this week.
According to two sources, the rapprochement between Riyadh and Doha will likely include reopening the skies, land borders, ending the “media war” and other confidence-building steps as part of a detailed plan to gradually restore relations.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia cut relations with Qatar and attempted to blockade the country into submission. Riyadh particularly took offense at Qatar’s friendly relations with Iran, the international influence of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news network and Doha’s role in supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qatar did not submit to the Saudi pressure, however, and succeeded in outlasting the Saudi attempts at embargo with support from Iran and Turkey.