Gulf leaders to meet Dec 19-20 in Riyadh

AFP , Sunday 13 Nov 2011

Gulf Cooperation Council will hold its annual summit this December in Saudi Arabia instead of Bahrain due to the unrest that led to the intervention of GCC troops last summer

Leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council are to hold their annual summit in December in the Saudi capital, a council official told AFP on Sunday.

"The summit will be held on December 19 and 20" in Riyadh, he said on condition of anonymity.

A preparatory meeting of foreign ministers was to take place on November 23 at the council's headquarters in the Saudi capital.

The GCC summit will be the first since region-wide protests unseated three veteran Arab leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

Though most of the Gulf monarchies evaded the unprecedented Arab Spring revolts, Bahrain and Oman both faced unrest in February.

This year's GCC summit was scheduled to take place in the Bahraini capital but later relocated to Riyadh.

After a month of unrest, Bahrain sought military assistance from its Arab neighbours in the Gulf, who in mid-March sent in a Saudi-led force of some 1,000 troops to end mainly Shiite-led protests.

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