Qatar’s emir to attend Tuesday’s GCC summit in Saudi Arabia

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Qatar confirms Sheikh Tamim’s attendance after Kuwait announces that Saudi Arabia will open borders with Qatar.

Qatar’s Government Communication Office (GCO) has confirmed that the country’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, will attend the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Sheikh Tamim’s participation comes after Kuwait’s foreign minister announced late on Monday that Saudi Arabia will reopen its airspace, as well as its land and sea border, with Qatar, paving way for a deal towards resolving the political dispute.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt accused Qatar, among other things, of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran and severed economic and diplomatic ties. They also imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar.

Qatar has repeatedly denied the allegations and said there was “no legitimate justification” for the severance of relations.

Kuwait has been mediating between Qatar and four Arab states.

UAE, Saudi response

In remarks carried by the Saudi state-run news agency on Monday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the GCC summit will be “inclusive”, leading the states toward “reunification and solidarity in facing the challenges of our region”.

A senior UAE official said that the GCC summit would restore Gulf unity.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said in a Twitter post, “We stand before a historic summit in Al-Ula, through which we restore our Gulf cohesion and ensure that security, stability and prosperity is our top priority. We have more work ahead and we are headed in the right direction.”

نحن أمام قمة تاريخية بامتياز في العلا نعيد من خلالها اللحمة الخليجية ونحرص عبرها أن يكون أمن وإستقرار وإزدهار دولنا وشعوبنا الأولوية الأولى، أمامنا المزيد من العمل ونحن في الإتجاه الصحيح.

— د. أنور قرقاش (@AnwarGargash) January 4, 2021

In December, Qatari emir received a formal invitation from Saudi King Salman to the summit, delivered by GCC Secretary-General Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf.

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