RIYADH: Qatar-Saudi flights resumed on Monday as the neighbours normalise ties under a landmark agreement that ended a bitter three-year rift and allows families to reunite.

Saudi Arabia and its allies the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in June 2017 slapped a blockade on Qatar that included closing airspace to the country over claims it backed Islamist groups and was too close to Iran — charges Doha has always denied.

The quartet agreed to lift the restrictions at a Gulf Cooperation Council summit last week in the Saudi desert city of Al-Ula, after a flurry of diplomatic activity by outgoing US President Donald Trump’s administration.

The first commercial flight between Qatar and Saudi Arabia in three and a half years, a Qatar Airways service to Riyadh, took off from windswept Doha airport around 1100 GMT and touched down around 1200 GMT.

Families hugged and laughed as they were reunited in the gleaming arrivals hall of Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport where two men waited holding large bunches of flowers which they gave to two women who arrived with a child.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2021

Opinion

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel
21 Jan 2021

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel

It is worth noting that massive plans have been upended and assets are now on the verge of being seized.
A horned dilemma
21 Jan 2021

A horned dilemma

Trump would rather ‘reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n’.
Violence & Afghan peace talks
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Violence & Afghan peace talks

Many of those killed in recent weeks have actively been campaigning against rampant violence and rising human rights violations

Editorial

Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...