Saudi Crown Prince welcomes Qatar Emir for GCC Summittext_fields
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Al-Ula for the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit on Tuesday.
The Emir confirmed his attendance a day earlier after an announcement that Saudi Arabia would be reopening its airspace and land and sea borders to Qatar.
The summit is expected to see the signing of a deal between the GCC member states that would end the ongoing political rift.
The arrival and participation of the Qatar Amir is significant, if not historic, in the backdrop of the nearly four years of embargo imposed on Qatar by the Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates together with Egypt.
Ever since June 2017 when the embargo took effect, Qatar has not been participating in the annual GCC summit or in other GCC meetings.
Apart from Qatar Emir, Vice President of UAE, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday afternoon to attend the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Al-Ula.
They were also greeted by the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and top Saudi officials.
They were received by the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States Dr. Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf.
The Ruler of Dubai and the Emir of the State of Qatar left in an official motorcade for Maraya Concert Hall, where the summit is being held. Maraya is the largest mirror building in the world and has been placed in the Guinness Book of Records.
The official Emirati delegation includes the National Security Advisor Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan while the Qatari delegation includes former Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa was the first to arrive at the Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdulaziz Domestic Airport in AlUla. He was shortly followed by Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said.
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah also arrived in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait News Agency said.
Saudi Arabia's ancient city of AlUla is hosting the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit of Gulf leaders for the first time.