TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, criticized Qatar’s emir in a tweet on Sunday for not attending an annual (Persian) Gulf Arab summit being held in Saudi Arabia.

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Qatar sent its state minister for foreign affairs to the summit, which is taking place amid a bitter dispute between Doha and three Persian Gulf Arab states that severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in mid-2017.

“Qatar’s emir should have accepted the fair demands (of the boycotting states) and attended the summit,” Sheikh Khalid said in his tweet, Reuters reported. 

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.