War in Yemen and divisions sink the Gulf countries summit
Absent the Emir of Qatar who has snubbed the invitation of the hosts Riyadh. Among the elements of tension is the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Khashoggi. The meeting dedicated to oil and security policies. In the final statement the importance of unity underlined.
Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The diplomatic, economic and commercial confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the war in Yemen with civilian casualties, and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi have cast more than one shadow on the summit of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Yesterday the annual meeting was held in Riyadh, marked by the absence of Doha leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani who has snubbed the official invitation of Saudi summits.
The meeting, behind closed doors, focused on oil and security. Analysts and experts on regional issues say that the GCC meeting will have a "minimal" impact on people's lives and the economy. Moreover, the body is torn apart by internal divisions. from threats to national sovereignty and from Riyadh's policies, which nods at Israel in an anti-Iranian key.
The absence of the Emir of Qatar, together with the recent decision of Doha to abandon OPEC from next January, once again highlight the deep internal fractures. Foreign minister Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi took part in the annual meeting in al-Tahni.
It should be emphasized that the Emir of Qatar was present at last year's meeting, while the leaders of the other Gulf countries were absent.
Among the other elements of crisis, the backstage clash between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for the control of the shared "Neutral zone" oil wells. Inside there are the fields of Khafji and Wafra, owned by both countries, closed respectively in 2014 and 2015. Their production capacity exceeds 500 thousand barrels per day and would be essential to allow Riyadh to reach the target of 12.5 million barrels a day.
The summit, characterized by a tense atmosphere and moments of embarrassed silences, ended with a final declaration that underlines the importance of maintaining unity among the member countries, facing the challenges - political, social and economic – in the region. However, divisions and personal interests put the future of the organism at risk.