Kuwait sends invitations to the GCC summit

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Kuwait on Thursday invited Qatar to a summit of Gulf Cooperation Council countries next week, state media said, the first such invitation in a months-long crisis.

Kuwait, which is not among Arab states boycotting Qatar, invited Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to the GCC summit, the state-run KUNA news agency said.

On Wednesday, Kuwaiti officials said that an annual summit of Gulf Arab heads of state would convene in Kuwait on December 5 and 6, despite the ongoing dispute between some members of group.

It is not yet known whether Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would take part in the event and at which level they would be represented, if they do decide to participate.

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Bahrain said last month it will not attend the summit if Qatar does not change its policies and that Qatar should have its membership in the six-nation group suspended.

A rift between the GCC members Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE on one side, and Qatar on the other, has put this year's annual meeting in doubt.

A senior Kuwaiti official said the level of representation was not clear yet.

Two Gulf diplomats also said Kuwait, which had led unsuccessful mediation efforts between the two sides, would try again to use the meeting to resolve the rift.

The council was founded in 1980 as a bulwark against bigger neighbors Iran and Iraq.