TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The Qatari Emir, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, is not attending the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council Summit underway in Riyadh, a report said.
A state minister is representing the country at the meeting instead, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported late Saturday, citing a Qatari official it didn’t identify.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz invited Qatar’s ruler to attend the regional summit.
The invitation, which was extended on Dec. 4, was seen as a way for Saudi Arabia to start to overcome international condemnation for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its war on Yemen, and diffuse tensions with its neighbor.
The (P)GCC is a six-nation bloc of oil-rich Arab states, composed of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.
The invitation also came as the Saudis face renewed pressure to end an 18-month blockade of Qatar over alleged funding of extremist groups.
Qatar, a member of OPEC since 1961, said on Dec. 3 it would quit the oil cartel to focus on its liquefied natural gas production.