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End of War? Saudi King Invites Qatari Emir to Attend GCC Summit

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After more than a year on the deep row between Qatar and the Saudi Kingdom, Saudi King Salman invited Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to attend the upcoming Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] summit set to take place in Riyadh on December 9, the official Qatar News Agency reported.

The announcement on Tuesday came just one day after Qatar announced its decision to withdraw from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC], a move seen by some analysts as deeply symbolic given Qatar's modest oil output.

Qatar News Agency [QNA] said in a tweet the emir received "an invitation from the King of Saudi Arabia" for the meeting.

The invitation was delivered by the Bahraini secretary general of the GCC, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, during a reception by Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi.

QNA did not say if Sheikh Tamim would attend the summit.

A quartet of Arab states, composed of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates [UAE], Bahrain, as well as non-GCC member Egypt, imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Doha in June 2017.

The Saudi-led bloc accused Doha of abetting "terrorism" and contributing to instability in the region, allegations Qatar has categorically denied.

At last year's GCC summit, held in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain sent ministers or deputy prime ministers, rather than heads of state.

Kuwait, which has been mediating between Qatar and the bloc, said last month all six GCC member states were expected to attend the Riyadh summit.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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