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Qatar's ruler to attend Gulf meeting amid dispute

Jamaica Gleaner / KUWAIT CITY (AP) :

Qatar’s ruling emir will attend a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (gcc) this week in Kuwait, his government said on Monday, a summit coming amid a boycott of the energy-rich country by three of the council’s members.

The ongoing dispute has threatened to tear apart the six-member GCC, all US allies who serve in part as a Gulf Arab counterbalance to Shiite power Iran. Already, the island nation of Bahrain had threatened that it would not take part in any meeting that Qatar attends.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani would fly to Kuwait City for the two-day meeting scheduled to begin today. It quoted Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as confirming the emir’s attendance and saying he hoped “all parties involved do not need a Western party to intervene”.

Later yesterday, Kuwait announced Sheikh Tamim had sent a letter to Kuwait’s 88-year-old ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, without elaborating.

GCC members Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have cut off Doha over allegations that Qatar supports extremists and has too-friendly relations with Iran. Qatar long has denied supporting extremists, while it shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran.

Yesterday, both Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attended a ministerial meeting in Kuwait City ahead of the summit. Bahrain said it sent Assistant Foreign Minister Abdulla bin Faisal al-Doseri to that meeting that the Qatari foreign minister also attended.

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