Absence of Qatar emir overshadows Gulf Arab summit – National


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RIYADH — A Gulf Arab summit known as for regional unity as Bahrain and traded barbs over the Qatari emir’s resolution to not attend the gathering in Saudi Arabia on Sunday in an indication row between Doha and its neighbours remains to be festering.

Qatar despatched its state minister for overseas affairs to the annual one-day summit, which was overshadowed by the financial and diplomatic boycott of Doha since mid-2017 by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt over allegations Doha helps terrorism, which Qatar denies.

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“Qatar’s emir ought to have accepted the honest calls for (of the boycotting states) and attended the summit,” Bahraini Overseas Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa stated in a tweet.

In response, Ahmed bin Saeed AlRumaihi, director of the knowledge workplace at Qatar’s overseas ministry, stated: “Qatar could make its personal selections and had attended (final yr’s) Kuwait summit whereas the leaders of the boycotting international locations didn’t.”

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He later slammed the ultimate communique for not addressing the boycott, which Qatar says goals to curtail its sovereignty.

The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) summit of six member states was held as Riyadh faces worldwide strain over the Oct 2. homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman opened the gathering, urging fellow member states Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar to take care of a united entrance towards Iran and terrorism.

“This requires all of us to take care of our international locations’ good points and to work with our companions to protect safety and stability within the area and the world,” he stated in a speech.

The leaders sat round a desk in awkward silence on the shut earlier than a bland remaining communique was learn out, stressing the significance of sustaining GCC unity within the face of threats to regional stability and to fulfill financial challenges.

The UAE will host the following summit in 2019.

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Doha final week abruptly introduced it was exiting the oil exporters’ group OPEC after 57 years to concentrate on fuel, in an obvious swipe on the bloc’s de facto chief Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh has resisted U.S. strain to revive ties with Doha following Khashoggi’s homicide, an act that drew condemnation and scrutiny of the dominion’s assertive regional insurance policies.

Saudi Overseas Minister Adel al-Jubeir reiterated in a press convention after the summit that Doha should meet the boycotting states’ calls for and that the dispute wouldn’t have an effect on army cooperation.

A U.S. State Division official on Sunday urged Gulf states to fix fences to confront Iran and allow a proposed Center East Strategic Alliance (MESA) grouping the GCC, Egypt and Jordan.

“We’d wish to see that unity restored, not on our phrases, however on phrases of the international locations which might be concerned,” Timothy Lenderking, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arabian Gulf Affairs, informed reporters at a safety discussion board within the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

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Jubeir stated proposals for MESA had been being “refined” in coordination with the USA. “It’s a work in progress that either side need to succeed,” he stated.

The boycotting states insist the row just isn’t a precedence for them whereas Doha says the dispute harms regional safety.

Kuwait’s ties with Riyadh are additionally strained over management of shared oilfields within the so-called Impartial Zone, additional weakening unity of the GCC which was arrange in 1980 as a bulwark towards bigger neighbors Iran and Iraq.

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