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Gulf Arab officials discuss ‘cooperation’ ahead of summit

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File photo: An emergency summit of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on May 30, 2019. T (Xinhua/SPA)

MANAMA (AFP) – Top Gulf Arab officials held a virtual meeting Sunday to bolster “cooperation” ahead of a summit next month amid efforts to end a rift between a Saudi-led alliance and Qatar.

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait took part in the meeting hosted by Manama, while Qatar was represented by its minister of state for foreign affairs.

Saudi Arabia led its allies the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to cut ties with Qatar in June 2017, saying it was too close to Iran and funding radical Islamist movements – charges Doha staunchly denies.

After severing ties, the countries issued a list of 13 demands for Qatar, including that it shut down its broadcaster Al Jazeera.

The six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) addressed on Sunday “suggestions on supporting and strengthening joint Gulf cooperation in various political, economic and social aspects”, according to a statement by Kuwait’s foreign ministry.

This comes after Manama on Wednesday called for an “end to regional disputes”, softening its rhetoric surrounding the Gulf crisis.

 

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