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Turkey welcomes likely end to 3-year Gulf rift, hiatus in Qatar-Saudi ties

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has welcomed the end of the three-year Gulf crisis, which saw severe deterioration in Saudi-Qatar ties.

“This step constitutes a very important step in solving the conflict ongoing since June 2017,” the ministry said in the statement, in reaction to an announcement that Saudi Arabia would lift a yearslong embargo on Qatar, opening its air, land and sea borders in the first steps toward ending the Gulf crisis.

“The mediation efforts of international actors, led by Kuwait, to make sure this step is taken are praiseworthy,” the statement added.

“Turkey hopes for a permanent solution and the lifting of other sanctions,” the ministry said.

The statement also added that Turkey will continue to support all efforts aiming to bring a permanent solution to the crisis.

The state-run Kuwait News Agency reported the announcement, saying that Saudi Arabia would open its airspace, land and sea borders starting Monday evening.

Kuwait has been mediating between Qatar and four Arab states, namely Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, which launched an embargo in mid-2017.

The announcement comes on the eve of a Gulf leaders’ summit in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday that will be chaired by Saudi King Salman. Qatar’s ruler is now expected to attend the summit for the first time since the embargo.

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