Egypt reopens Qatar’s airspace after the Gulf reconciliation summit

Airport officials said a Qatar Airways plane is expected to land in Cairo later this week. (AP photo)

CAIRO (Reuters) – The head of civil aviation in Cairo said on Tuesday that Egypt had reopened its airspace to Qatari flights after relations between Doha and a Saudi-led bloc improved.

“The Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority agreed at dawn on Tuesday to the Qatari authorities’ requests to allow Qatari airlines to pass through Egyptian airspace,” Ashraf Noyer told AFP.

“This decision allows EgyptAir and Qatar Airways to resume flights,” he added.

In June 2017, Egypt joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in severing ties with Qatar, accusing it of being too close to Iran and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo and its Gulf allies consider a “terrorist” group.

Qatar denied the accusations.

The four countries imposed a blockade of three and a half years, and closed their airspace to Qatari flights.

But last week’s Gulf Cooperation Council summit, attended by Qatari leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, saw the settlement of differences between the two sides and a pledge to lift sanctions.

The first commercial flight in three years took off from Qatar to Saudi Arabia on Monday.

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