Qatar sent its state minister for foreign affairs to the annual one-day summit that is overshadowed by the economic and diplomatic boycott of Doha since mid-2017 by Riyadh, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt over allegations Doha supports terrorism.
The absence of Qatar's Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as Qatar's recent decision to withdraw from the Saudi-dominated OPEC oil cartel, underlined the simmering crisis facing the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The summit also comes with Saudi Arabia and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, under mounting pressure over the murder of Washington Post columnist Khashoggi.
People familiar with India's engagements with the members of the GCC - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - said New Delhi had consistently said that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter and should not figure at multilateral forums.
On behalf of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers arrived in Riyadh to lead the Sultanate's delegation at the 39th GCC Summit, which is being hosted by Saudi Arabia (KSA) and due to commence its deliberations later yesterday.
The Saudi leader accused Iran of interfering in the internal affairs of regional countries, urging for unity to protect the Gulf achievements. Qatar has denied the charges and said the boycott aims to impinge on its sovereignty.
"Members of the council are determined that the crisis with Qatar does not have a negative effect on the council in general and its structure", he said.
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Saudi King Salman greeted GCC leaders Sunday as they descended down a golden escalator at a Riyadh air base and never mentioned Qatar in his remarks to the summit.
In reaction to the Saudi king's accusations, Qassemi said, "In practice, the GCC has turned into a front for proclaiming the policies of a few of its members, and takes stances at the expense and in the name of all members, which do not help regional peace and stability in any way."
Kuwait, a traditional mediator in the region, called for a halt to media campaigns in the Gulf.
"GCC unity's been a really important pillar for USA engagement with this region, with the Gulf, with the Middle East".
King Salman inaugurated the Summit stressing on the importance of finding a political solution in Yemen and how the Palestinian cause is at the forefront of the GCC concerns.
Relations have also soured between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait over oil production from two jointly-run oilfields in the so-called Neutral Zone after talks in September failed to move the two countries closer to a deal.