Riyadh plans to dig a waterway along the border with Qatar to cut off its neighbor from the mainland amid a continuing standoff between the two countries, Gulf News reported.
June 25 is Saudi Arabia’s deadline for accepting tenders to dig the 60-kilometer (37.2-mile) Salwa canal.
Five international companies with expertise in digging canals have so far submitted tenders for the construction of the 200 meter-wide (656 feet) and 20 meter-deep (65.6 feet)canal to run inside the territories of Saudi Arabia and about one kilometer from the country’s official border with Qatar.
The winner will be announced within the next 90 days.
In a tweeted message on Tuesday, Saudi royal advisor Saud al-Qahtani congratulated his fellow countrymen on the start of what he described as a “glorious” project that will “turn Qatar into an island.”
He earlier said that Qatar would become part of Salwa Island, which is set to become home to a Saudi military base.
On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt broke off diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and cooperation with Iran.
The quartet then issued a list of 13 demands Qatar had to comply with in order to restore relations.
Doha has rejected the demands and all mediation efforts have so far failed to achieve a breakthrough.