Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz invited Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the Saudi capital Riyadh to attend the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit which will take place on December 10, Qatari state media said on Tuesday without specifying if Doha had accepted.
The invitation comes amid signs of reduced animosity between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia and allies Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt closed their airspace to Qatar Airways and banned travel to the country over charges that Doha backs extremists 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.
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 in 2017 despite having received invitations.
On Sunday, the GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said “the GCC ministerial council will hold a preparatory meeting for the 40th GCC Summit on December 9 in Riyadh.”
The GCC leaders are expected to discuss some key topics to enhance cooperation and integration amongst member states in political, defense, security, social and economic fields, al-Zayani noted.
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