By Ahmed Youssef
DOHA (AA) – Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will not attend the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, due to open in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Sheikh Tamim assigned his Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani with leading the Qatari delegation to the summit, the official QNA news agency reported.
The Qatari ruler was invited by Saudi King Salman to attend the one-day summit, but he left Doha on Monday for Rwanda to attend a ceremony to present an international anti-corruption excellence award in his name.
Diplomatic sources earlier told Anadolu Agency that the Qatari emir was unlikely to attend the GCC summit in Saudi Arabia.
Qatar has been facing a Saudi-led blockade since 2017 when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade relations with Doha.
The four countries accuse Qatar of supporting terrorist groups, an accusation vehemently denied by Doha.
In recent weeks, however, reports suggested a potential breakthrough in efforts aimed at resolving the crisis between Qatar and its neighbors.
* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara