December 4, 2017 / 1:18 PM / 10 months ago

Qatar foreign minister joins GCC peers in Kuwait meeting

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Qatar’s foreign minister met his Gulf Arab counterparts on Monday ahead of an annual summit in Kuwait, one of the highest official encounters since some of them cut diplomatic, trade and travel links with Doha six months ago.

Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) attend a meeting in Bayan Palace, in Kuwait City, Kuwait, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Assad Hani

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said a day earlier that Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani would attend the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting on Dec. 5 and 6, despite the dispute within the group.

Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah and Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi arrive to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Bayan Palace, in Kuwait City, Kuwait, December 4, 2017. Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)/Handout via REUTERS

The rift revolves around allegations by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt that Qatar supports terrorism and is too close to Iran. Doha denies the charges and says the four countries are trying to force it to fall in line with their own foreign policy.

Sheikh Mohammed sat around a large wooden table in Bayan Palace with representatives from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain to make preparations for the top-level summit.

Kuwait and the United States have tried unsuccessfully to mediate the dispute in recent months.

Reporting by Ahmed Hegagy; Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Alison Williams

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