Qatar emir invited to Gulf summit amid diplomatic row

Qatar emir invited to Gulf summit amid diplomatic row

Shafaq News/ Qatar’s Emir has been invited to the bloc’s summit meeting next week amid efforts to heal rifts between Doha and a Saudi-led alliance. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said today Thursday.

Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received a formal invitation from Saudi King Salman Bin Abdelaziz to the January 5 summit meeting of the six-nation GCC in Saudi Arabia, delivered by GCC Secretary-General Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf.

In addition to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the GCC includes Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia and its allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar, saying it was funding “terrorist” groups especially those close to Iran.

Qatar has repeatedly denied the allegations and said there was “no legitimate justification” for these accusations.

After severing ties, the four countries issued a list of 13 demands for Qatar, including that it shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network.

The Saudi-led quartet subsequently forced Qataris living and working in their countries to leave, closed their airspace to Qatari aircraft and sealed their borders and ports, separating some mixed-nationality families.

Sheikh Tamim’s participation would signal an easing of divisions.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s cabinet said it “wished for a successful summit to enhance joint action and enhanced cooperation between the country members,” according to a statement on the official Saudi Press Agency.

It follows comments earlier this month by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan who said that a resolution was in sight.

Egypt and the UAE have since given their public support to the negotiations, although diplomatic sources say the UAE has been reluctant to compromise.

Source: Al-Jazeera + Shafaq News Agency

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