The Qatari flag is seen at a park near Doha Corniche, in Doha, Qatar. (Reuters)

UAE says transport to, trade with Qatar may resume within a week

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Trade and transportation could resume between Qatar and boycotting countries within a week, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs said on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies agreed on Tuesday to restore ties with Qatar, ending a boycott imposed in 2017 over allegations that Doha supported terrorism and was cozying up to Iran, which it denied. Tuesday’s deal has US backing.

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“Measures to be implemented within a week of the agreement include practical measures of airlines, shipping and trade,” the UAE minister, Anwar Gargash, told reporters.

However, other issues such as restoring full diplomatic relations and the Turkish presence in the Gulf would take longer, the official said. “Some issues are easier to fix and some others will take a longer time.”

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In 2017 Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had set Doha 13 conditions to end the boycott, including closing al Jazeera TV, shuttering a Turkish military base, cutting links to the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading ties with Iran.

Qatar said the embargo had aimed to curb its sovereignty.

“We have a very good start with (Tuesday’s) agreement... but we have issues with rebuilding trust,” said Gargash.

“There will be bilateral working groups to move forward on other issues,” he added.

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