The Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) annual summit will be held in Kuwait on Tuesday, December 5, and Wednesday, December 6. An increased security presence and potential traffic disruptions are to be anticipated leading up to and during the summit.
The GCC, established in 1981, is composed of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. This year's summit comes amid a diplomatic rift between a bloc of Gulf countries and Qatar. Kuwait has served as a mediator in in the dispute, and senior Kuwaiti officials have confirmed the summit will go ahead despite the regional tensions. It remains unclear if the Qatar blockade will have an impact on the level of representation at the summit. Bahrain previously announced it would not attend the summit if Qatar did not implement policy changes, and also demanded that Qatar's GCC membership be suspended.
Qatar is currently under an economic, political, and diplomatic blockade by a Saudi-led bloc of Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt), originally imposed in June. The blockade has affected trade, business, visas, and air, land, and sea travel. The Saudi-led bloc has accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and have made numerous demands (i.e. closing the Al Jazeera media network, severing ties with Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah, etc.), which Qatar has refused to accept. Previously diplomatic negotiations to resolcve the conflict have been unsuccessful.
Individuals present in Kuwait are advised to allow extra time for travel during the summit.
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