Egypt, UAE Follow Saudi Example, Reconnect With Doha Via Air
The reconciliation of the Qatar crisis, announced earlier this month by all nations party to the conflict, took another major step forward on Monday as the United Arab Emirates and Egypt sent their first direct flights to Doha in nearly four years. The two commercial flights, which were reciprocated with a Qatari airliner making the opposite trip to Cairo later Monday, follow the first direct flights from Saudi Arabia to Doha begun last week. Over a quarter of a million Egyptian citizens living in Qatar were left stranded during the blockade set up in 2017 by Riyadh, Cairo, Abu Dhabi and Manama, unable to return to Egypt for over three years. The four Arab states accused Qatar of backing Iranian aggression and terrorism throughout the Middle East, and severed all economic and diplomatic ties. On January 5, in a summit held in Saudi Arabia and brokered by the United States and Kuwait, the sparring sides agreed to bury the hatchet and turn the page. The specifics of the deal have yet to be revealed.