• Bassma Al Jandaly, Editor In Chief

GCC vow 'solidarity' as Saudis end embargo

Gulf Arab leaders have signed an agreement on "solidarity and stability" at a summit aimed at ending an embargo against Qatar by its neighbours.

The contents of the document were not immediately released.

But Qatar's emir was embraced by the Saudi crown prince when he flew to al-Ula, a day after Saudi Arabia reopened its airspace and borders to Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

The tiny, gas- and oil-rich state denied the accusation and rejected the conditions for ending the partial blockade, including closing the Doha-based Al Jazeera broadcast network.

In recent months, Kuwaiti and US mediators stepped up efforts to end the stand-off.

"These efforts helped us reach the agreement of the al-Ula statement that will be signed at this summit, where we affirm our Gulf, Arab and Islamic solidarity and stability," Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an opening speech.

"There is a desperate need today to unite our efforts to promote our region and to confront challenges that surround us, especially the threats posed by the Iranian regime's nuclear and ballistic missile programme and its plans for sabotage and destruction," he added.

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