The Latest: UAE, Saudis Form New Group, Separate from GCC

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Photo: Jon Gambrell, AP

The seal of the Gulf Cooperation Council and an announcement of its meeting this week is on display in Kuwait City, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. 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 CITY (AP) — The Latest on the developments surrounding the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Kuwait (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

The United Arab Emirates says it has formed a new “joint cooperation committee” with Saudi Arabia to partner on economic and military issues, separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The Emirati Foreign Ministry made the announcement early on Tuesday ahead of a GCC meeting in Kuwait, saying it was approved by the UAE’s ruler and president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan.

Saudi Arabia did not immediately report on the new partnership.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the announcement could affect the six-member GCC meeting, which is expected to focus on the diplomatic crisis that has engulfed member-state Qatar.

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8 a.m.

Kuwait is preparing to host a crucial meeting of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council as half of its members are still boycotting fellow member-state Qatar.

The meeting is to begin on Tuesday but the fact that it will take place at all comes as a surprise, given the unusually sharp criticism among the typically clubby members of the GCC pointed at Doha.

That alone, however, won’t be enough to salvage the GCC, a group of American-allied Gulf Arab nations formed in part in 1981 as a counterbalance to Shiite power Iran.

The U.S. and its European allies all have told the council’s members that the region remains stronger with them working together as a whole, while the countries themselves still appear divided over their future.

 

(Source: MRT.com)

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