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.”