Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 January 2020

UAE delegation arrives in Riyadh for GCC summit

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is leading delegation expected to discuss Iran and regional security with GCC member states

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai was met by Saudi King Salman as he arrived in Riyadh for the 40th GCC summit on Tuesday.

The UAE delegation is headed by Sheikh Mohammed, who will attend the meeting with ministers to discuss issues such as regional security, Iran and the Palestinian conflict.

The GCC states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar — come together every year to discuss trade and security co-operation. This year the summit will be held in Riyadh's Al Daraya Palace.

Delegations from Oman and Qatar arrived in the Saudi capital before the UAE delegation, with Bahraini and Kuwaiti officials arriving afterwards. All the delegations were greeted by King Salman.

Oman’s deputy prime minister Sayyid Fahad bin Mahmoud Al Said led his country's delegation to Riyadh.

The Qatari delegation is led by Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani, who held talks with King Salman prior to the talks as part of the summit’s protocol.

Qatar's Emir Tamim Al Thani will not attend this year's summit, Saudi officials confirmed to The National, dashing hopes of a solution to a dispute which included three GCC members — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain — cutting ties with Doha in 2017.

The three countries accuse Qatar of interfering in their internal affairs and supporting extremist groups across the region.

In another development, Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister, Khaled Al Jarallah, said the former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al Hajraf submitted his nomination to become the council’s next secretary general.

“There is a Gulf consensus that Nayef Al Hajraf will become the next secretary general," Mr Al Jarallah said late on Monday.

If Mr Al Hajraf is chosen, he is expected to assume the post by April 2020, a GCC official confirmed to The National.

The heads of state are expected to discuss his official nomination on Tuesday.

If he takes the post, Mr Al Hajraf will become the second Kuwaiti to become the GCC’s secretary general since its establishment in 1981.

Updated: December 11, 2019 04:08 AM

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