Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

Saudi Arabia invites Qatar to regional summit amid Iran tensions

Saudi King Salman's invitation comes despite having cut diplomatic ties with Qatar since June 2017

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani received an invitation from Saudi King Salman to attend regional talks on the rising tensions with Iran. Reuters
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani received an invitation from Saudi King Salman to attend regional talks on the rising tensions with Iran. Reuters

Qatar has received an invitation from Saudi Arabia to attend two emergency summits in Makkah to discuss mounting tensions between Iran and regional players.

Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad “received a written message" from Saudi King Salman inviting the government to join both emergency meetings on May 30, the Saudi government's information office said in a statement. Doha has not yet accepted the invitation.

King Salman’s call for talks comes after four oil tankers were targeted off the coast of the UAE.

A Saudi crude oil pipeline was also hit by Houthi drone strikes a day after the tanker attacks. Riyadh claims the rebels were following Iranian orders, but Iran has denied involvement.

King Salman proposed the two summits – one for Arab League members and one for Arabian Gulf leaders – to discuss the recent "aggression and their consequences," the kingdom's state news agency, Spa, reported.

Doha initially claimed it had not received an invite.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 over alleged support for Iran and terrorism. Qatar has denied the charges.

The UAE has said the current "critical circumstances" in the region required a "unified Arab and Gulf stance".

The invitation was received by Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani during a meeting with the GCC secretary-general.

Updated: May 27, 2019 12:05 PM

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