Workers prepare the International Congress Center in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on February 23, 2019, a day before it is set to host the first European Union (EU)-Arab League summit. (Photo by Reuters)

EU, Arab League to hold 1st joint summit in Egypt 

The European Union (EU) and the Arab League are to kick off their first-ever joint summit in Egypt, amid internal and mutual tensions.

According to Press TV, the two-day conference is to go underway at the International Congress Center in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday. Migration, security, climate change, economy, and regional conflicts are expected to be discussed during the event.

On the European side, the summit is overshadowed by internal differences arising from Britain’s controversial push to break away from the EU. The Arab states, on the other hand, have had tense relations among themselves over a Saudi Arabian-led blockade of Qatar.

EU relations with the Arab states have also partially suffered over a Saudi-led war on Yemen — which has prompted sporadic protests from European states due to its huge civilian casualties — and the state-sponsored murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last October.

Press said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, whom Turkey has hinted ordered Khashoggi’s assassination, is also avoiding the summit.

The ailing Saudi King Salman will be leading the kingdom’s delegation to the summit.

To its part, Qatar is also sending a lower-ranking representative to the Arab League, according to London-based paper al-Araby al-Jadeed.

The decision by Doha came after “unprofessional” behavior by Cairo to send the invitation to “the Greek Embassy in Doha instead of submitting it to the permanent representative of Qatar to the Arab League.”