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Gulf summit talks put off as Islamists spat simmers

RIYADH: Gulf monarchies have indefinitely postponed a ministerial meeting ahead of their annual summit, an official said Monday, amid a simmering dispute over Islamists between Qatar and three other members.

The Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers had been scheduled to meet in Doha on Monday, but the talks were postponed without any new date set, a Gulf official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

Ministers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had been due to discuss preparations for the summit scheduled for Doha on December 9.

Relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE sank to a new low in March, when the three pulled their ambassadors from Doha, accusing it of meddling in their internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Riyadh labels the Brotherhood a “terrorist” group.

Doha later asked Brotherhood leaders to leave Qatar, following diplomatic pressure from Saudi Arabia, but differences remain.

The delay comes despite shuttle mediation on Friday by emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah of Kuwait, the current president of the oil-rich GCC.

Saudi-owned daily Al-Hayat on Monday cited a “reliable source” as saying the mediation has “not yielded any results”, and that talks were now under way to move the summit to either Kuwait or Riyadh instead. -AFP

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