Gulf sum­mit in Riyadh Dec 9th

Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE -

RIYADH, Dec 6, (Agen­cies): Lead­ers of the GCC coun­tries will con­vene in Riyadh on De­cem­ber ninth, Sun­day, to par­take in the 39th Arab Gulf Sum­mit un­der the chair­man­ship of King of Saudi Ara­bia Sal­man bin Ab­du­laziz Al-Saud, said Ab­dul­latif bin Rashid AlZayani, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the GCC, Thurs­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Al-Zayani told

would dis­cuss a number of im­por­tant is­sues in the joint ac­tion and achieve­ments in the frame­work of the Gulf States’ in­te­gra­tion and co­op­er­a­tion.

Re­ports and rec­om­men­da­tions sub­mit­ted by rel­e­vant spe­cial­ized min­is­te­rial com­mit­tees and the Gen­eral Sec­re­tar­iat will also be touched upon, said the of­fi­cial.

The GCC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral pointed out that the ses­sion will also re­view lat­est re­gional and in­ter­na­tional po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tions in the re­gion.

He ex­pressed his hope that the sum­mit will come out with con­struc­tive and fruit­ful re­sults that would deepen GCC co­op­er­a­tion and in­te­gra­tion in var­i­ous fields and re­al­ize the as­pi­ra­tions of its ci­ti­zens to face all chal­lenges and main­tain the se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity of the GCC coun­tries and the re­gion.

The United Arab Emi­rates said on Thurs­day the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil re­mained valid de­spite a bit­ter row with Qatar that has frac­tured the bloc ahead of an an­nual sum­mit next week.

Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, Bahrain and non-GCC mem­ber Egypt have im­posed a diplo­matic and eco­nomic boy­cott on Qatar since June 2017 over al­le­ga­tions Doha sup­ports ter­ror­ism. Qatar de­nies the charges and says the boy­cott aims to cur­tail its sovereignty.

“The main suc­cess of the coun­cil is in its eco­nomic as­pects and the cre­ation of a Gulf com­mon mar­ket,” UAE Min­is­ter of State for For­eign Af­fairs Anwar Gar­gash tweeted.

“The po­lit­i­cal cri­sis will end when the cause be­hind it ends and that is Qatar’s sup­port of ex­trem­ism and its in­ter­fer­ence in the sta­bil­ity of the re­gion.”

The dis­pute has un­der­mined the re­gional role of the six-nation GCC, set up in 1980 as a bul­wark against larger neigh­bours Iran and Iraq.

Last week, Qatar abruptly an­nounced it was quit­ting OPEC after 57 years to fo­cus on gas in an ap­par­ent swipe at the oil-ex­porter bloc’s de facto leader Saudi Ara­bia.

The move has deep­ened the sense among diplo­mats and an­a­lysts that any prospect for a near-term res­o­lu­tion to the dis­pute was un­likely to come at the GCC sum­mit in Riyadh.

Saudi Ara­bia’s king has in­vited Qatar’s Amir to at­tend the Dec 9 gath­er­ing of heads of state, but Doha has not yet said what level of rep­re­sen­ta­tion it would send.

Bahrain’s for­eign min­is­ter said in re­marks pub­lished on Thurs­day that the level of Qatari rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the one­day sum­mit was ir­rel­e­vant.

“It is the same whether they at­tend or not,” For­eign Min­is­ter Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khal­ifa told the pan Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The cri­sis with Qatar has reached un­prece­dented lev­els and I don’t know how they will come back from that, as Qatar has joined it­self with the re­gion’s en­e­mies such as Iran and dis­tanced it­self from the GCC.”

Qatar’s ruler last month said the dis­pute “ex­posed the fail­ure” of the GCC and harmed re­gional se­cu­rity by weak­en­ing the block which groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE.

At last year’s sum­mit, held in Kuwait, Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE and Bahrain sent min­is­ters or deputy prime min­is­ters.

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