DOHA - Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani has decided to skip the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held in Riyadh on Sunday, sending the country’s state minister for foreign affairs in his stead, amid ongoing diplomatic crisis with Qatar’s Persian Gulf neighbors, Qatari Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed AlRumaihi said on Sunday.

The state minister has no portfolio, meaning that he is not responsible for any particular area of the Qatari government’s activities, performing mainly representational functions on the part of the Qatari government.

“Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs Soltan Al-Muraikhi arrived in Riyadh at the head of Qatar’s delegation to attend the summit of the cooperation council [GCC],” AlRumaihi said via his official Twitter feed.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud invited the Qatari emir to the 39th GCC despite the fact that three out of six council members have broken off diplomatic relations with Doha. Al-Thani, in turn, declined the invitation.

All the Gulf states are interested in keeping the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) functioning, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said on Sunday amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the Arab monarchies and Qatar.

“Everyone is interested in preserving the organization and strengthening its role in the future. The Cooperation Council was established to strengthen security and stability and serve the people of the Gulf states,” the king said at the summit’s opening, as broadcast by Al Ekhbariya broadcaster.

The Qatari emir did attend last year’s GCC meeting in Kuwait, although Al-Thani and Kuwait’s emir, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, were the only heads of state present at the event, with the other four GCC member countries — Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — sending low-level representatives.

Meanwhile, Emir of Kuwait Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah called on Sunday for the Persian Gulf monarchies to halt mutual media campaigns over the Saudi-Qatari row.

“According to our position on preserving unity of the Persian Gulf states and promoting their prosperity, we call for an end to the information campaigns that have hurt our principles and planted seeds of hatred in our society,” the emir said at the 39th summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Ryadh, as broadcast by Al Ekhbariya.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar in June 2017 and imposed an economic blockade on the country, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.