Persian Gulf Cooperation Council nations absent from Beirut book fair

Beirut, Dec 2, IRNA – The 61st annual international book fair in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, is underway while except for Oman, all the other members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council have refrained from participating.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait are the PGCC nations that are not present at this year's Beirut international book fair, reported the Islamic Republic News Agency correspondent in the Lebanese capital on Saturday.

Despite some news suggesting participation of Kuwaiti publishers, for unknown reasons they have also not attended.

Recent tensions in ties between Lebanon and the Persian Gulf littoral states, particularly Saudi Arabia, are likely to be responsible for the absence of the PGCC publishers.

The resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri from Riyadh exacerbated relations between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, with the Lebanese President Michel Aoun alleging that Hariri had made the decision while under arrest in Riyadh, calling the Saudi action as hostile.

The 61st annual Beirut book fair opened on Thursday with the participation of 220 publishers from Lebanon and other countries including Iran.

Around 1000 books in Arabic, English and Persian are on display at Iran pavilion.

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