Gulf Crisis intensifies: Saudi Arabia closes borders with Qatar permanently


Published: 2017-12-20 15:35

Last Updated: 2017-12-20 17:49

The only land border gate between Qatar and its neighbour Saudi Arabia. (
The only land border gate between Qatar and its neighbour Saudi Arabia. (

Saudi Arabia permenantly closed the country’s only land border with Qatar, Salwa border gate, which continues to be blockaded by the kingdom and some of its other Gulf neighbours.

The Salwa border gate was shut-off permanently since Monday night, following orders from Saudi officials, the Saudi customs directorate said in a letter issued on Tuesday.

The move comes as the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its neighbour countries nears eight months, without any sign for dissolvement.

After the crisis started between Qatar and other countries, the border gate was closed in June. It was reopened in August for the period of two weeks, for pilgrims who wanted to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage to pass through.

The Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani welcomed the move then, saying it was a "politically motivated decision".

Additionally, earlier in December, the annual regional summit of the six GCC countries was cut short in Kuwait, failing to resolve the ongoing crisis.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, citing a list of demands for Qatar.

The demands included Doha ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing broadcaster Al-Jazeera, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran, and shutting down a Turkish military base in the emirate.