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Trade vehicle begin operating across Qatar-Saudi border

February 15, 2021 at 2:11 pm

Cars crossing the Qatari side of the Abu Samrah border into Saudi Arabia following the opening of crossings between the two countries on 9 January 2021. [KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images]

The Qatari General Authority of Customs announced that commercial traffic through the Abu Samra border crossing with Saudi Arabia re-opened yesterday after it was closed in 2017 as a result of a Gulf boycott of Doha, the Qatari News Agency reported.

Authorities started a number of controls pertaining to the movement of imported and transiting goods from the Salwa border port in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Abu Samra border port in Qatar.

Truck drivers coming from the Salwa port must be tested for coronavirus by the Saudi Ministry of Health no more than 72 hours before entering the Abu Samra border crossing.

Last month, Qatari vehicles crossed into Saudi Arabia through a land border for the first time after the Gulf rift lifted.

In January, Qatar signed a reconciliation agreement with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to end their rift, which started in 2017.

In June 2017, the four countries severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.

The four countries also imposed an embargo on Qatar and issued a long list of demands, including the closure of Doha-based news broadcaster Al Jazeera, under the threat of further sanctions.

Qatar refused to submit, denying charges that it supports terrorism and describing the bloc’s efforts to isolate it as a violation of international law and an infringement of its national sovereignty.

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