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UAE says GCC strong as ever despite Qatar dispute

Middle East News
Thu, 06 Dec 2018



DUBAI: The UAE said on Thursday the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) remained valid despite a dispute with Qatar, ahead of an annual summit next week.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and non-GCC member Egypt have cut off ties with Qatar since June 2017 over Doha’s support of terrorism.

“The main success of the council is in its economic aspects and the creation of a Gulf common market,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted.

“The political crisis will end when the cause behind it ends and that is Qatar’s support of extremism and its interference in the stability of the region.”

Saudi King has invited Qatar’s Amir to attend the December 9 gathering of heads of state in Riyadh, but Doha has not yet said what level of representation it would send.

Bahrain’s foreign minister said in remarks published on Thursday that the level of Qatari representation at the one-day summit was irrelevant.

“It is the same whether they attend or not,” Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa told the pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.

“The crisis with Qatar has reached unprecedented levels and I don’t know how they will come back from that, as Qatar has joined itself with the region’s enemies such as Iran and distanced itself from the GCC.”