Qatar emir receives Saudi invite to GCC summit

Doha: Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz has invited Qatar’s Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council summit to be held on December 9 in the Saudi capital, despite an ongoing diplomatic crisis between Saudi and Qatar.

The invitation to Riyadh is significant as Qatar has been isolated by a group of countries led by Saudi Arabia since June 2017,  when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have suspended all relations with Qatar for Doha’s support for terrorism and its closeness to Iran.

Qatar News Agency said in a tweet that the emir had received “an invitation from the King of Saudi Arabia” for the meeting on December 9. The tweet did not say if the emir would travel to the Kingdom.

The bitter dispute has dragged on for 18 months and has shown little sign of being resolved.

In an apparently unrelated decision,  earlier this week, Qatar announced it was leaving Opec. Qatar's energy minister while announcing this decision mentioned Qatar's focus is on natural gas, rather on crude oil,  the latter being OPEC's domain.   However,  observers are unable to see the two as unconnected, as Opec is a body heavily dominated by Saudi Arabia.

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