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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Reports: Egypt’s Sisi to participate in upcoming GCC Summit

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The participation of the Egyptian leader would be the first since the crisis erupted in 2017 after his regime joined the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the illegal blockade on Qatar.

Reports suggest that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is going to be attending the 41st GCC Summit in Riyadh in January, according to Palestinian pan-Arab newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

According to the outlet, a source with knowledge said that el-Sisi received an invitation from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, adding that Egypt’s participation is an indication that a final agreement to end the three-year-long regional crisis could indeed be reached at the upcoming summit.

While Egypt has not yet announced its participation in the upcoming meeting of GCC leaders,, the prospects of a breakthrough have been increasing ever since Kuwait’s leadership announced that a deal was imminent. A few days after that announcement Cairo welcomed issued a statement welcoming it.

Earlier this week, King Salman invited all Gulf leaders to attend the summit which is due to take place on January 5th in Riyadh, invites were sent through the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

“The commitment by Gulf leaders to hold the summit on an annual basis, and especially in these exceptional times, is a testament to the strength of the GCC, to their belief in their duty to the people of the Gulf, and their devotion to increasing cooperation and integration among member countries,” said Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the GCC in a press release.

Read also: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman invites Gulf leaders to attend GCC summit

Also last week, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani confirmed that there are “no obstacles” in the path towards reconciliation, adding that his country had been engaging in negotiations with only Saudi Arabia as it “represents” the countries involved in the blockade.

Echoing the same sentiment, Saudi Press Agency [SPA] issued a statement last week saying that Riyadh is committed to its role in ensuring the GCC’s unity.

“Since the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council in 1981 AD, the Kingdom has embarked on a balanced approach that supports every effort and supports every move that contributes to achieving common goals and aspirations,” read the statement.

The statement added that Saudi Arabia has been working “to overcome disagreements” while also supporting GCC member states in “reaching a settlement and viable solutions to the Gulf dispute”.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia said it was in the process of pushing for a potential resolution to the Gulf crisis ahead of the 41st GCC Summit.

The Gulf countries are expected to negotiate the points of contention and demands that have been in place since the crisis erupted in 2017. This will be carried out through working groups tasked with drafting a final agreement.

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