Saudi king absent from Gulf summit attended by Qatar rival

Kuwait City (AFP) –


Saudi King Salman on Tuesday sent his foreign minister to lead the kingdom's delegation to a Gulf summit in Kuwait attended by the ruler of rival Qatar, official media reported.

State television showed Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah receiving Saudi Arabia's top diplomat Adel al-Jubeir at the airport as the head of the kingdom's delegation.

The summit comes six months after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member Qatar, the worst political dispute of the bloc's 36-year history.

Host nation Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts to resolve the crisis, and Qatar were the only members of the six-nation alliance to send top-level representation -- their respective emirs -- to attend the summit.

Bahrain sent its deputy prime minister and Emirati media said its state minister for foreign affairs would represent Abu Dhabi.

It was not immediately clear whether the summit, due to begin later on Tuesday, will even broach the Gulf dispute that the emir of Kuwait has warned could cause the GCC to collapse.