UAE forms new military and economic partnership with Saudi Arabia

UAE and Saudi form new partnership separate from GCC

UAE and Saudi form new partnership separate from GCC  05 Dec 2017- 12:04

Speaking at a forum, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Qatar's leader has accepted the invitation to attend, amid the region's worst political crisis in years.

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt abruptly cut all ties with Qatar over accusations Doha supported extremism and was close to Shia Iran.

Qatar's ruling emir will attend the meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council this week in Kuwait, his government said Monday, a summit coming amid a boycott of the energy-rich country by three of the council's members.

Kuwait, the main mediator in the standoff, sent out invitations to all GCC member states last week. Qatar denies the allegations.

Kuwait has been trying to mediate an end to the crisis that began in June. But this time positions have hardened against Qatar, whose support for Islamist opposition groups has angered the Arab nations now boycotting it. However, President Donald Trump has made comments seemingly supporting the Arab nations' efforts at isolating Qatar, complicating those efforts.

The Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah also held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdullatif al-Zayani.

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Kuwait had invited the GCC countries while Qatar confirmed its presence in the Summit. Already, the island nation of Bahrain has said it won't take part in any meeting that Qatar attends.

Ahead of the summit, however, Kuwait showed it remained committed to Gulf unity.

The four threatened to impose further sanctions on Doha if it failed to accept a long list of demands, including the closure of the Qatar-funded Al Jazeera television.

He added that Qatar has not yet seen the summit agenda, but the current crisis will be discussed at the meeting.

Saudi Arabia did not immediately report on the new partnership. "While the UAE believes its interests are best served by an alliance with Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain is compelled to follow Riyadh's lead, the other Gulf states are much more hesitant to do so".

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