Observers say Qatar emir unlikely to attend GCC summit in Riyadh

Observers say Qatar emir unlikely to attend GCC summit in Riyadh
2 min read
09 December, 2019
Qatar will likely be represented at the summit by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Tamim will attend an anti-corruption summit on Monday [Getty]
Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani is unlikely to attend a GCC meeting in Riyadh this week, according to analysts, as the country's foreign minister arrived in the Saudi capital for the regional summit.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi arrived in Riyadh on Monday, according to Qatar News Agency.

"Minister of State for Foreign Affairs arrives in Riyadh to chair the State of Qatar's delegation participating in the 145th ministerial preparatory meeting for the GCC 40th Leaders' Summit, hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," said QNA.

The Qatari emir is unlikely to attend the GCC summit, sources told Bloomberg, although it has not been completely ruled out.

"Things haven't been finalised and the situation remains fluid," the person told the outlet.
On Monday, the emir attended an anti-corruption summit in Rwanda, putting a question mark over whether he would make it to the GCC meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Qatar has been under blockade by three GCC states - Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - since June 2017, which has put the whole Gulf union project in jeapordy.

Last week, King Salman of Saudi Arabia invited Sheikh Tamim to the GCC summit.

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Khaled Al-Sabah said on Sunday that the forthcoming GCC summit would be "an extremely important step forward to Gulf reconciliation". 

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have held talks that could signal the end of the Gulf diplomatic crisis, Qatar's foreign minister indicated on Friday.

Speaking at a foreign policy conference in Rome, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani expressed hopes for "progress" in resolving the Gulf crisis, saying Riyadh and Doha have "moved rom a stalemate".

"We have moved from a stalemate to some progress where... some talks took place between us and specifically Saudi," the Qatari foreign minister was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera at the MED 2019 conference.

"We hope that these talks will lead to our progress where we can see an end for the crisis."

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