UAE says Gulf Arab bloc still strong despite Qatar row
DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday the Gulf Cooperation Council remained valid despite a bitter row with Qatar that has fractured the bloc ahead of an annual summit next week. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and non-GCC member Egypt have imposed a diplomatic and economic boycott on Qatar since June 2017 over allegations Doha supports terrorism. “The main success of the council is in its economic aspects and the creation of a Gulf common market,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted. Bahrain’s foreign minister said in remarks published on Thursday that the level of Qatari representation at the one-day summit was irrelevant. “It is the same whether they attend or not,” Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa told the pan Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat.