Saudi king invites Qatar emir to Riyadh summit: Doha




A member of the Qatar Football Association holds up the name of Saudi Arabia during the group draw for the Arabian Gulf Cup in the capital Doha
A member of the Qatar Football Association holds up the name of Saudi Arabia during the group draw for the Arabian Gulf Cup in the capital Doha  

Doha (AFP) - Saudi King Salman has invited Qatar's emir to a meeting next week of the Gulf regional bloc in Riyadh, Qatari state media said Tuesday without specifying if Doha had accepted.

The invitation to the December 10 summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation (GCC) comes amid signs of reduced animosity between Qatar and Saudi Arabia which has led an economic boycott of Doha since 2017.

Saudi Arabia and allies Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates closed their airspace to Qatar Airways and banned travel to the country over charges that Doha backs radical Islamists and seeks closer ties with Iran.

Qatar vehemently denies the charges.

The three Gulf boycott countries are currently participating in a regional football tournament in Qatar having announced their participation at the last minute.

Saudi Arabia and hosts Qatar are facing off in the semi-finals on Thursday.

"The emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, received a written message from... Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to attend the (GCC) summit," the Qatar News Agency reported.

The emir has been represented by senior officials at GCC summits since the blockade was imposed despite having received invitations.

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