GCC summit cut short by a day

 05 Dec 2017 - 14:26

GCC summit cut short by a day
Kuwaiti and foreign journalists gather in the media centre hall during the GCC summit in Kuwait City on December 5, 2017. / AFP / Yasser Al-Zayyat

Al Jazeera / Agencies

Doha: A key regional summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has been cut short and will conclude on Tuesday instead of Wednesday, with all the delegates leaving Kuwait after a closed session.

The Kuwait summit takes place exactly six months after three of the member states started a blockade of Qatar.

The move comes as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that it had formed a new economic and military partnership with Saudi Arabia separate from the GCC.

Qatar Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has arrived in Kuwait City for the key summit, but heads of states from the three blockading countries - Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain - will not make it to the summit.

“I hope that the summit results in maintaining the security and stability of the Gulf,” Emir said in Kuwait.

Saudi King Salman on Tuesday sent his foreign minister to lead the kingdom's delegation to.

The agenda of this year's summit, one of the most significant official encounters since the crisis erupted in June, has not been made public.

The talks could define the very future of the bloc that was established in 1981 for closer economic, trade and security partnerships on the Arabian Peninsula.

In October, Kuwait Emir, H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who has been mediating the standoff, warned of the potential collapse of the GCC if the crisis continued.

Qatar Emir has agreed to resolve the crisis through dialogue, but Kuwait's call for talks has not been accepted by the blockading countries.

The ongoing war in Yemen is also expected to be a topic of discussion. A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing the poorest nation in the Middle East since March 2015, creating one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of modern times.