GCC Summit Offers Hope To End Gulf Crisis – Kuwaiti Minister

The next Gulf Cooperation Council summit, to be held in Riyadh next month, may be an opportunity to end the rift within the group, Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying by state news agency KUNA.

The news comes as a surprise as Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE and Bahrain, have been embroiled in a diplomatic standoff with GCC member Qatar over allegations of interference in regional affairs.

The summit, which is typically held in December, will be the trade bloc’s 39th, and the second since the Arab Quartet (which also includes Egypt) cut ties with Qatar in June 2017. The boycotting countries were represented by deputy-prime ministers and foreign ministers in last year’s conference held in Kuwait, instead of the usual heads of state.

Mr Al Jarallah said the summit could present a “hope to resolve the Gulf crisis and solve the differences”. The statement, which has yet to be echoed by the other five GCC countries, could indicate an attempt by the GCC to resolve the dispute.

Bahrain’s King Hamad Al Khalifa said in 2017 that his country will not attend any summit with Qatar unless it “returned to its senses”. Bahrain has since sent lower-ranking ministers to conferences attended by Doha.

It is still unclear who will represent the GCC countries at the summit. In April, Qatar was not represented by the Emir, Sheikh Tamim Al Thani, at the Arab League Summit held in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE maintain that the solution to the crisis “can only be found in Riyadh”, suggesting that if Qatar is amenable, a resolution to the crisis could be within reach at the forthcoming summit.

 

Source Credit: The National