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Kuwait emir ends troubled two-day GCC summit on first day

The emir of Kuwait has ended the GCC summit hours after its opening [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 5 December, 2017

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Kuwait’s emir has ended a two-day Gulf summit only hours into first day, showing turmoil in bloc amid Qatar crisis.

Kuwait’s emir has ended a two-day Gulf summit only hours into first day, showing turmoil in bloc amid Qatar crisis.

Kuwait’s ruling emir had opened the troubled meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) earlier on Tuesday.

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and Qatar’s ruling emir were the only heads of state who attended the meeting Tuesday in Kuwait City.

Other countries sent lower-level officials amid the diplomatic dispute that has half of the GCC now boycotting Qatar.

Sheikh Sabah said there needed to be a committee to look at how to move the council forward, without elaborating.

The 88-year-old monarch also said: “I would like to congratulate all the people of the GCC nations for our success in holding this summit, proving how committed we are to this establishment and continuity.”

Before the summit began Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates said it formed a new “joint cooperation committee” with Saudi Arabia to partner on economic and military issues, separate from the GCC, showing the trouble the body faces.

The Emirati Foreign Ministry announcement said the new “joint cooperation committee” was approved by the UAE’s ruler and president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan.

Saudi Arabia did not immediately report on the new partnership.

hree Gulf states, together with Egypt, cut all ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing the gas-rich emirate of supporting Islamist extremists and of being too close to Shia Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival. Qatar denies the allegations.

Mediation efforts led by Kuwait have failed to resolve what is the worst crisis to hit the Gulf Cooperation Council in its 36-year history, casting serious doubts over the future of the six-state alliance.

As Kuwait readied to host the two-day GCC summit, analysts said its efforts to bring about a peaceful end to the crisis may be at a complete standstill.

"The crisis is too deep and very complicated... I don't think it will be resolved during the summit," said independent Kuwaiti political analyst Saleh al-Saeedi.

"But I think Kuwait hopes to at least freeze the dispute, stop its deterioration and move on to the next step."

Founded in 1981, the GCC is a political and economic union grouping Qatar with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as Oman and Kuwait.

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