Emir of Bahrain Boycotts Islamic Summit in Qatar
The Emir of Bahrain will boycott the summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference which opens Sunday in Qatar because of a simmering territorial dispute, the official GNA news agency said.
Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa broke the news to members of Bahrain's consultative council.
"The emir announced he will not participate at the Doha summit and that it would not be the right time to go to Qatar until the International Court of Justice has given its verdict" in the bitter dispute, the agency said.
"The emir ... stated that Qatar's pretensions on Bahrain's state territory and waters have affected relations between the two countries and prevented their development."
The agency was unable to say if anyone else would represent the Gulf archipelago at the three-day summit in Doha.
Qatar's emir announced on October 24 that he expected the International Court of Justice to grant it sovereignty over the Hawar islands, which are controlled by Bahrain.
The International Court in The Hague wound up at the end of June a five-week public hearing into the dispute between the neighbors, which almost led to war in 1986.
The case focuses on Qatar's claim to the Hawar Islands and Fasht al-Dibel rocks, as well as Manama's claim to the Zubara strip on Qatar's west coast.
A World Court verdict is expected by the end of the year.
Bahrain has warned it will not cede an inch of its land, charging that Qatar was trying to seize a third of its territory – MANAMA (AFP)
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