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Qatar raises annual aid to Gaza to $360 million

Increase said to be around 50 percent, although no official statistics available; Qatari envoy al-Emadi enters Hamas-run enclave to announce new aid projects

Palestinians receive their $100 financial aid as part of the aid allocated by Qatar to poor families, through a post office, in the town of Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, on December 3, 2020. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Qatar will raise its yearly aid to Gaza to $360 million, the conservative Gulf monarchy’s government announced on Sunday.

“This grant…will be used to pay employees’ salaries, provide financial aid to needy families, and operate power stations to limit the worsening of the humanitarian situation, and difficult living conditions in the Strip,” the Qatari government said in a statement carried by its state-owned mouthpieces.

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Egypt and Qatar Agree on Resuming Diplomatic Relations: Cairo

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends the Arab summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 31, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Hamad l Mohammed/File Photo

Egypt and Qatar have agreed to resume diplomatic relations, the Egyptian foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The move follows an agreement between Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt earlier this month to end their boycott of Qatar — a move taken in 2017 over allegations it supported terrorism, a charge that Doha denies.

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Qatar’s FM wants Gulf Arab nations to talk with Iran – report

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told Bloomberg that Qatar has urged Gulf Arab nations to enter a dialog with Iran and that it was the right time for Doha to broker negotiations.
“This is also a desire that’s shared by other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries,” he told Bloomberg TV in an interview.
The Qatari foreign minister added that his government was supporting ongoing discussions between Iran and South Korea to secure the release of an oil tanker seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard early this month.
Commenting separately on potential US-Iran talks, he said that Qatar will facilitate the discussions if asked and will support whoever is chosen to do so.
“We want the accomplishment, we want to see the deal happening,” he said of potential talks between Washington and Tehran.


Hamas official says Qatar to provide aid to Gaza for another year

Mousa Abu Marzouk says Qatari envoy al-Emadi to return to Strip by the end of the month, states Qatari aid to poor families will be $30 million per month

Palestinians receive their financial aid as part of assistance given by Qatar, at a post office in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on October 6, 2020. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Senior Hamas terror group official Moussa Abu Marzouk announced on Tuesday that Qatar will continue to provide humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip for another year.

“The Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, informed us of the renewal of the Qatari grant for a full year, rather than another six months,” Abu Marzouk said in a statement put out by Hamas media.

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US Welcomes Breakthrough to Ease Rift Between Gulf Countries and Qatar

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani during the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) 41st Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia Jan. 5, 2021. (Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters)

The United States has welcomed the pledge made on Tuesday by Gulf Arab leaders to restore cooperation with Qatar in military, economic, health, counter-corruption, and cultural initiatives following Saudi Arabia’s decision to end a 3 1/2-year embargo of the tiny energy-rich country.

Saudi Arabia and its three Arab allies agreed to restore full ties with Qatar at a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Saudi Kingdom on Tuesday, the Saudi foreign minister said.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Faisal Bin Farhan al-Saud promised to end a boycott of Qatar in 2017 with the aim of strengthening an Arab alliance against Iran.

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Ending regional rift with a public embrace, Saudi Arabia and Qatar restore ties

As kingdom hosts Qatari emir at Gulf nations summit, Saudi foreign minister says agreement represents ‘turning of the page on all points of difference’

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, welcomes Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani upon his arrival to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council’s 41st Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, January 5, 2021. (Saudi Royal Court via AP)

AL-ULA, Saudi Arabia — Full ties have been restored between Qatar and the four nations that severed relations with Doha in a rift that began over three years ago, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Tuesday, after the parties signed new agreements.

Saudi state media said that de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met separately with Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, after the pair publicly embraced at the airport.

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When Israel and Arab nations unite, world should take note, says UN ambassador

 Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan reflected on 2020 and how “Israel’s future looks brighter than ever” in his address on Sunday night at the Zionist Organization of America’s Virtual Superstar Gala.

Erdan, also Israel’s incoming ambassador to the United States, received the ZOA’s Woo KaiSheng Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Diplomacy. In his acceptance speech, he said that while this past year “supplied a fair amount of hate, it also delivered a fair amount of peace.”

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Kushner going to Saudi Arabia, Qatar in last-ditch diplomatic push

White House adviser Jared Kushner will travel to Qatar and Saudi Arabia this week, seeking to broker more diplomatic pacts in the Middle East in the Trump administration’s final days.

A person familiar with the matter confirmed the planned trip to The Hill. The Wall Street Journal first reported the trip.

Kushner’s trip follows U.S.-brokered pacts between Israel and Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.

White House aide Avi Berkowitz, who was heavily involved in brokering the earlier deals, will accompany Kushner, the Journal reported, adding that the negotiations will primarily involve Saudi-Qatari relations.

It wrote that Kushner hopes to mend the divide between Qatar and other Gulf nations.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017 and imposed a blockade on Qatar, accusing it of backing extremist groups.

The U.S. has been hopeful for a similar breakthrough between Israel and Saudi Arabia, particularly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, the Saudis are reportedly reluctant to commit to further negotiations following President-elect Joe Biden’s win earlier this month.

Both U.S. and Kuwaiti officials have attempted to broker a deal between Riyadh and Doha before, to no avail. The four nations initially presented a list of 13 demands that included further freezing out Iran and shuttering state-funded TV network Al Jazeera, but have backed down on some of them, the Journal reported.

Qatar sued the four countries earlier in 2020 for restricting it from their airspace. The Saudis are reportedly open to an agreement on the airspace issue, but the UAE is less open to compromise unless the country agrees to drop its lawsuits.

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Kushner heading to Saudi Arabia and Qatar amid tensions over Iranian scientist killing Senior White House adviser and his team to travel this week for talks with Saudi crown prince and emir of Qatar

Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

The White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist.

A senior administration official said on Sunday that Kushner was to meet the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in the Saudi city of Neom, and the emir of Qatar in that country in the coming days. Kushner will be joined by Middle East envoys Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook and Adam Boehler, chief executive of the US International Development Finance Corporation.

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