DOHA, Qatar

Qatar’s ruler will attend the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council summit starting in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, his first appearance at the meeting since 2017. 

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will lead the country’s delegation at the summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Qatar’s Royal Court confirmed late on Monday.

The news came soon after Kuwait’s foreign minister announced that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have agreed to reopen their airspace and borders starting Monday night, signaling the end of a three-year rift.

The last council summit al-Thani attended was hosted by Kuwait on Dec. 5, 2017, as he skipped the 2018 and 2019 summits in Saudi Arabia.

The developments mark a breakthrough in efforts to end a diplomatic crisis that has seen Qatar facing a blockade by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt since June 2017.

Accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and meddling in their internal affairs, the four countries cut ties with Doha and imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on the country.

Qatar, with the support of Turkey, consistently denied the charges and voiced readiness for dialogue to end the impasse.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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