DOHA Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has refused to participate in the annual [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, which is set to take place in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh at the weekend, and instead sent the foreign minister to attend the event.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan al-Muraikhi arrived in Riyadh to lead the delegation of Qatar to the [P]GCC summit, director of information office at the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed al-Rumaihi, wrote in a post published on Twitter on Sunday.
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah, in return, criticized Qatar’s emir in a tweet for not attending the regional groupings summit.
Qatar’s emir should have accepted the fair demands (of the boycotting states) and attended the summit, Sheikh Khalid wrote in his tweet.
The official Qatar News Agency said in a tweet on December 3 that the monarch had got an invitation from the King of Saudi Arabia for the meeting, but it did not say whether Sheikh Tamim would travel to Saudi Arabia.
The Arabic language Al Aan online newspaper, citing diplomatic sources, reported late last month that Secretary General of the [P]GCC Abdul Latif bin Rashid al-Zayani was going to visit Doha to invite the Qatari emir to attend the the 39th annual summit of the regional grouping.
Last month, Kuwaits Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah confirmed that all six GCC countries would be attending the annual summit of the council, which is set to take place on December 9.
Jarallah said the summit could present a hope to resolve the [Persian] Gulf crisis and solve the differences.
The report came as a surprise since Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, has been embroiled in a diplomatic and trade boycott against Qatar for a year and a half.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 last year, after officially accusing it of sponsoring terrorism.
The administration of the Saudi-backed and former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties with Doha. Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations as well.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.