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The New Arab

Kuwait emir calls for GCC cooperation amid Qatar crisis

Kuwait has taken a lead role in trying to resolve the GCC crisis. [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 January, 2018

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Kuwait's leader has told GCC members to move beyond a current crisis around Qatar, and ensure the survival of the Gulf bloc for coming generations.

Kuwait's Emir Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah on Monday stressed the importance of cooperation between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states as a blockade of member Qatar enters its eighth month.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a sea, air and land blockade against Qatar on 5 June, accusing Doha of aiding "terrorists" and having close ties with Iran. Qatar denies the allegations.

"We are all aware of the conditions around us, and unfortunately, and of their deterioration that represent a serious challenge to us all," the emir said as he opened the 11th meeting of the GCC Shura, which includes delegates from pan-Gulf representative councils and national assemblies in Kuwait City on Monday.

"Collective work is our way ahead in the confrontation and the best way to protect us to deal with the challenges and to preserve the achievements of our people and countries," he added, according to Gulf News.

Kuwait's emir warned in October that the GCC could collapse if the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Doha and the "Arab Quartet" - which includes GCC members Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, along with Egypt - of blockading nations was not resolved.

The GCC annual summit last December was overshadowed by the rift with the meeting ending early and only being attended by more junior delegates.

Kuwait and Oman have both remained neutral in the dispute, while Kuwait has taken a lead role in trying to bring about an end to the crisis.

The GCC was established in 1981 between oil-rich Gulf nations to encourage economic and political cooperation between the members at a time of security concerns in the region.

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