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Saudi Arabia permanently closes land border with Qatar

The Salwa border crossing was closed by Saudi authorities on Monday night [AFP]

Date of publication: 20 December, 2017

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Saudi authorities have ordered the permanent closure of the only land border between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia has permanently closed its sole land border with Qatar, amid its continued boycott of the Gulf state.

Saudi authorities ordered that the Salwa border gate be closed on Monday night, according to a letter from Saudi Arabia's customs directorate.

Riyadh made the move as the Gulf crisis approaches eight months.

The land border was first closed by Saudi authorities two weeks after the Arab quartet of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting "terrorism" and forstering ties with Iran.

It was briefly opened for a fortnight in August to allow pilgrims from Qatar to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

During the course of the ongoing diplomatic rift, the Saudi-led bloc have closed airspace to Qatari aircraft and blocked direct land and air travel to the country.

The blockading countries also ordered that all Qatari nationals leave their countries, although Doha did not reciprocate the punitive measure.

Earlier this week, Qatar held its national day celebrations which were hailed as a show of unity and defiance in the face of its isolation by its neighbours.

Qatar also recently announced that it expects its budget deficit to decline marginally next year as the economy absorbs the aftershock of the Saudi-led boycott.

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