Qatar emir boy­cotts Arab sum­mit in Saudi Ara­bia

Tehran Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad al-Thani will not be in Saudi Ara­bia to rep­re­sent his na­tion in a sum­mit of the Arab lead­ers.

Qatar’s state news agency said that Doha’s per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Arab League, Saif bin Muqad­dam al-Buainain, will rep­re­sent the Qatari del­e­ga­tion to the Saudi regime-hosted sum­mit. The re­port did not elab­o­rate why the de­ci­sion was made, but it showed that a nearly year-old dis­pute be­tween Qatar on one side and Arab neigh­bors in the Per­sian Gulf re­gion is still a long way from be­ing re­solved.

The dis­pute came in June 2017 when Saudi Ara­bia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE), along with Egypt and the Mal­dives, an­nounced a halt to diplo­matic and trans­port ties with Qatar in re­sponse to the al­leged sup­port of the coun­try for ter­ror­ism. Doha re­jected the al­le­ga­tions and said the boy­cott was meant to force it into con­ces­sions that it said would vi­o­late its sovereignty.

Among the con­ces­sions Qatar was sup­posed to make, as it was later an­nounced in a list of de­mands by the boy­cotting coun­tries to re­store the ties, was for Doha to re­duce ties with Iran and shut down its flag­ship tele­vi­sion chan­nel Al Jazeera. Qatari au­thor­i­ties re­jected the de­mands.

Sheikh Tamim’s boy­cotting of the sum­mit comes as heads of state or gov­ern­ment from most of the 22 other Arab coun­tries are present in Saudi Ara­bia to at­tend the event. The emir was on top of Qatari del­e­ga­tion to the last year’s Arab sum­mit in Jor­dan.

The de­ci­sion also comes right af­ter Sheikh Tamim re­turned from a trip to Wash­ing­ton where he was re­port­edly urged to ac­cept the Saudi regime de­mands.

The House of Saud regime’s For­eign Min­is­ter Adel al-Jubeir said on Thurs­day the dis­pute with Qatar would not be on the agenda of the Arab sum­mit.

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