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Wednesday April 25th, 2018 8:01PM

The Latest: Kuwait's emir quickly ends troubled Gulf summit

By The Associated Press
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KUWAIT CITY (AP) — The Latest on the developments surrounding the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Kuwait (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Kuwait's emir has quickly ended a troubled summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council amid the ongoing diplomatic dispute targeting Qatar.

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah made the sudden announcement after only a 15-minute closed-door session. The summit was supposed to last two days.

Sheikh Sabah and Qatar's ruling emir were the only heads of state who attended the meeting Tuesday in Kuwait City.

Other countries sent lower-level officials amid the diplomatic dispute that has half of the GCC now boycotting Qatar.

___

6:30 p.m.

Kuwait's ruling emir has opened a troubled meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and Qatar's ruling emir were the only heads of state who attended the meeting Tuesday in Kuwait City.

Other countries sent lower-level officials amid the diplomatic dispute that has half of the GCC now boycotting Qatar.

Sheikh Sabah said there needed to be a committee to look at how to move the council forward, without elaborating.

The 88-year-old monarch also said: "I would like to congratulate all the people of the GCC nations for our success in holding this summit, proving how committed we are to this establishment and continuity."

Before the summit began Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates said it formed a new "joint cooperation committee" with Saudi Arabia to partner on economic and military issues, separate from the GCC, showing the trouble the body faces.

___

1:40 p.m.

Rulers of the three Gulf nations now boycotting Qatar have skipped a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council being held in Kuwait, sending instead deputies or other representatives.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all sent lower-ranking officials to the GCC meeting Tuesday in Kuwait City.

That's despite Qatar's ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, attending the meeting overseen by Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

Ahead of the start of the GCC meeting in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates announced it had formed a new, military and economic alliance with Saudi Arabia — a move that could undermine the GCC.

___

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.

___

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.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
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