Saudi king invites Qatari emir to attend GCC summit

Lester Mason
December 8, 2018

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has received invitation from Saudi Arabian King Salman to attend the summit of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on December 9, Qatar News Agency reported on Tuesday.

On Monday, Qatar announced that it will withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on January 1, 2019, a move seen by some as a rebuke of the Saudi-dominated organization.

According to Qatar's state-run news agency QNA, the emir received an official invitation from the Saudi king.

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on December 5, 2016 shows Saudi King Salman (L) waiving next to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during a ceremony in Doha.

The invitation to the GCC summit follows positive comments Prince Mohammed unexpectedly made about Qatar at a conference in Saudi Arabia in October.

Kuwait, which has been mediating between Qatar and a Saudi-led bloc that imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Doha in June 2017, said last month all six (P) GCC member states were expected to attend the Riyadh summit.

Background: Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have boycotted Qatar since severing diplomatic relations with the country.

The row has persisted despite mediation efforts by Kuwait and the United States, which sees Gulf unity as essential to its efforts to counter Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have repeatedly said that the dispute was not a high priority for them, and Qatar's foreign minister said last month he saw no thaw.

Inflows have picked up in Qatar this year after several large-cap companies announced they were easing limits on foreign ownership, prompting an adjustment of their weighting in benchmarks used by emerging-market fund managers.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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