Gulf leaders have gathered in Saudi Arabia for a summit that is expected to see the end of a three-year embargo against Qatar by its neighbors. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani was greeted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on arrival in al-Ula. On Monday night, Saudi Arabia reopened its borders to Qatar and a US official said an agreement would be signed.
Invasive searches on female passengers from 10 aircraft at Doha’s Hamad airport violated standard procedures, a preliminary report by the Qatar government found, saying those responsible for the “illegal actions” have been referred to the public prosecution office. The incident on Oct. 2, involving at least 13 Australian women on a state-owned Qatar Airways flight who were forced to disembark, and undergo invasive physical examinations in ambulances.
Qatar expressed regret on Wednesday over the treatment of the female travelers after Australia said women on 10 flights underwent invasive physical searches following the discovery of an abandoned baby at the country’s international airport. A baby girl had earlier been found in a trash can at the airport, concealed in a plastic bag in what “appeared to be a shocking and appalling attempt to kill her,” the Qatari government’s communications office said in a statement.
Qatar, one of the oldest OPEC members announced on Monday it will leave the oil cartel in January after 60 years. Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs said Qatar plans to ‘develop and increase its natural gas production.’ The energy minister claimed the move was not politically motivated but a ‘technical and strategic’ change.
Yesterday, Qatar restored full diplomatic relations with Iran, giving the public no explanation for their sudden decision. The restoration of their relationship with Iran means Qatar is further alienating themselves from their Arab neighbors who currently share a negative rapport with Qatar.
A list of requests leaked by the nation of Saudi Arabia was supplied to Qatar with one of the top demands on the list being the shutting down of Qatari news company Al-Jazeera. Qatar was also told in the list to scale back its diplomatic relations with Iran, close down a Turkish military base in Qatar and sever ties with “terrorist organizations,” including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State militant group, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.