Qatar-Saudi Arabia border re-opened on Sunday after Doha eased the coronavirus
measures for Saudis, the Qataris expressed their happiness by referring Saudi
Arabia as “their second country”. Now, both the countries can again cross the Gulf
diplomatic thaw after three years.
Drivers reached Salwa border crossing in Saudi Arabia which
is 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of the capital Riyadh, from the Qatari land
crossing at Abu Samrah for the second day following reopening of the border,
AFP correspondents reported.
Saudi Arabia closed its border adjoining to Qatar in June
2017 as a result of bunch of sanctions, which was a reply to Doha’s supporting
of radical Islamist groups and their friendship with Iran. However, Qatar
always refused Saudi’s accusation.
Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain
and Egypt, at a Gulf Cooperation Council summit in the Saudi on Tuesday
accepted to remove the restrictions, which they earlier put on travel; and trade.
“Coming from Qatar is like coming to our second country, where there’s no
difference between them and us in their traditions,” said Mohammed
al-Marri, a Qatari who had travelled into Saudi Arabia.
Also read: King Salman of Saudi Arabia gets COVID-19 vaccine
Ali Lablabi, general manager of Salwa’s customs department, told AFP that ever since the borders reopened, 167 Qatari cars had entered Saudi
Arabia, while 35 Qatari vehicles had went back to Qatar.
“This happiness — no one can describe it,” said
Ghaith al-Marri, a Qatari. “There are people who started crying” when
the border re-opened, he added.
Qatar and Saudi
Airlines, on Saturday, also declared on Twitter that they would recommence flight
between both the countries from Monday.
Qatar has also declared firm COVID-19 safety rules for passengers
arriving from Saudi Arabia while Doha informed passengers to show a negative
coronavirus test report, undergo another test at the frontier and quarantine in
a government-approved hotel for a week.