Khalid al-Qahtani stood in the arrivals hall at Riyadh’s main airport on Monday, waiting to see his sister almost four years after a diplomatic rift with neighbouring Qatar split his family apart.
“My sister has been (in Qatar) for about four years. We communicate on WhatsApp … My feelings – me and every Gulf citizen – are indescribable,” he said.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a diplomatic, trade and travel boycott on Qatar in 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism – a charge dismissed by Qatar which said the move was meant to curtail its sovereignty.
Then Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister announced a breakthrough in ending the dispute at a summit on Tuesday and the air, land and sea links started to re-open.
“Thank God … thank God,” said grinning schoolboy Khalid al-Harji at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, soon after arriving from Doha and meeting his uncle and cousin.
“Qatar and us, we share many things: politically, economically, socially, geographically. There are relations, blood between us,” said Bandar al-Qahtani waiting to greet his aunt.
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