King Salman Invites Qatari Emir on GCC Summit

Jeddah, MINA – King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud invited Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to attend the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit (GCC) in Riyadh on 10 December. Saudi and its allies have been involved in diplomatic disputes with Qatar since mid-2017.

“Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received a written message from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to attend the 40th session of the GCC Supreme Council,” the Qatar Foreign Ministry said on its official website on Tuesday as quoted by Al-Jazeera.

The invitation was received by the Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani when he met GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. However, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry did not explain whether Sheikh Tamim would fulfil the invitation or not.

The 40th GCC Summit actually would be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, there was no explanation from GCC officials why the venue was moved to Riyadh. Last year, the Saudis also hosted the GCC Summit. The conference ended without producing a breakthrough to resolve the diplomatic crisis with Qatar.

At the end of last October, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah called for an immediate diplomatic dispute with Qatar. According to Sheikh Sabah, disputes between these countries have greatly weakened the unity of the GCC which consists of Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

“It is very important to draw your attention to the unrest which is ravaging our territory which poses a huge threat and impact, not only to our stability and security but also to future generations,” Sheikh Sabah said.

He claimed that he could not accept ongoing disputes between the GCC countries. “This has weakened our ability and damaged our profits,” he said.

The Gulf crisis occurred in June 2017, when the Saudis and their allies accused Qatar of supporting terrorist and extremist activities in the region. Saudi, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE later severed diplomatic relations with Doha. They also boycotted the country.

The four countries filed 12 demands if Qatar wanted to restore relations. The demands include asking Qatar to break diplomatic relations with Iran and close down Al-Jazeera media.

Qatar has denied allegations posted by the four countries. He also refused to fulfil the demands of the Saudis and their allies because they were considered unreasonable.

The United States, including Kuwait, has sought to mediate and reconcile the countries concerned. However, these efforts did not produce results. (T/Sj/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)