Key GCC summit overshadowed by diplomatic rift

Key GCC summit overshadowed by diplomatic rift
From Al Jazeera - December 5, 2017

A key regional summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has been cut short and will conclude on Tuesday, with all the delegates leaving Kuwait after a closed session.

The two-day summit is set to begin in Kuwait City exactly six months after three of the member states severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar.

The move comes as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that it had formed anew economic and military partnership with Saudi Arabia.

Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has confirmed his attendance for the key summit, but there were no details on who would represent the three blockading countries - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain - at the summit on Tuesday.

The agenda of this year's summit, one of the most significant official encounters since the crisis erupted in June,has not been made public, but the Gulf crisis will be a top priority.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE cut ties with Qatar on June 5 after accusing it of supporting "terrorism", allegations that Qatar strongly denies.

Kuwait sent out invitations to all GCC member states last week, but it was not clear whether all heads of state would attend the two-day summit. Oman said that another official would represent Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, while some reports indicated that Saudi Arabia's King Salman may attend the 38th annual summit.

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