Qatar says emir receives Saudi invite to GCC summit

Qatar says emir receives Saudi invite to GCC summit

Saudi Arabia's king invited Qatar's ruler to attend a regional summit in Riyadh this month in a sign of a potential thaw between the nations as the Saudis struggle to overcome global condemnation for the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi and its conduct in the Yemen war.

What Happened: Saudi King Salman has sent a letter inviting Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit scheduled for December 9, Al Jazeera reported December 5.

Al Jarallah said the summit could present a "hope to resolve the Gulf crisis and solve the differences".

The quartet, composed of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain as well as non-GCC member Egypt accuses Doha of abetting "terrorism" and contributing to instability in the region, allegations Qatar has categorically denied.

However, QNA did not say whether Sheikh Tamim would travel to Saudi Arabia to attend the summit.

The invitation to the GCC summit follows positive comments Prince Mohammed unexpectedly made about Qatar at a conference in Saudi Arabia in October.

"I'm sure this summit will not bring any change", Mahjoob Zweiri, director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University, told Reuters news agency.

But Saudi Arabia and the UAE have repeatedly said resolving the dispute was not a top priority for them. The country's permanent representative to the Arab League headed its delegation instead.

The row has defied mediation efforts by Kuwait and the United States which sees Gulf unity as essential to efforts to contain Iran.

The GCC was founded in 1980 as a bulwark against bigger neighbours Iran and Iraq, but the protracted row has undermined its role in regional affairs.

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