World Bulletin / News Desk
Several Arab Gulf foreign ministers failed to show up in Cairo on Tuesday for a planned Arab League meeting held to prepare for an upcoming Arab summit in Jordan.
According to Arab diplomatic sources, Tuesday’s meeting in Cairo was attended by only 14 foreign ministers, with those from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Yemen and Somalia all declining to attend.
The same sources said that Ahmad al-Qattan, Saudi ambassador to Egypt and Riyadh’s permanent Arab League representative, had attended the meeting on behalf of Saudi Arabia, while Syria’s seat at the league remained vacant.
According to Arab media reports, Gulf-Egypt relations have come under strain since late last year, when Cairo voted in favor of a Russian draft resolution -- which Riyadh opposed -- on the Syria conflict.
Following the vote, Saudi state energy firm Aramco suspended oil shipments to Egypt, forcing Cairo to purchase its oil from alternate sources.
Saudi Arabia had been a main supporter of Egypt’s army-backed regime following a 2013 military coup against Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president and a leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood group.