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GCC Foreign Ministers Discuss Joint Cooperation Ahead of Summit

GCC Foreign Ministers Discuss Joint Cooperation Ahead of Summit

The foreign ministers of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council met to discuss ways of strengthening joint Gulf cooperation ahead of the annual GCC summit set for Jan. 5 in Riyadh.

Foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait held the virtual meeting on Sunday, according to reports. Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs also participated in the meeting, Al Jazeera reported.

The annual summit reportedly was postponed after failed attempts to reach an agreement between Qatar and a group of four Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is scheduled to attend the summit, the first time that Qatar’s head of state has attended since 2017.

In June 2017, the four countries began an air, sea and land blockade of Qatar, accusing it of fostering terrorism and cooperating with Iranian regional aggression. Qatar has denied these charges and refused to comply with the group’s demands to close a Turkish military base on its soil and cool diplomatic relations with Iran.

The upcoming summit reportedly will provide a path to reconciliation but not a final comprehensive agreement. Egypt is not a member of the GCC.

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