x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

King Abdullah invites Iran president for extraordinary Muslim summit

Saudi invites Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for an extraordinary summit of Muslim leaders to be held this month in the holy city of Mecca, according to the Saudi state news agency.

RIYADH // Saudi King Abdullah invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iran president, for an extraordinary summit of Muslim leaders to be held this month in the holy city of Mecca, according to SPA, the Saudi state news agency.

The Saudi monarch "sent a written letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inviting him to attend the extraordinary Islamic solidarity meeting which will be held in Mecca" in mid-August, it reported.

Tensions have been running high between the countries as both regional powers had taken opposite stances over the Syria crisis and unrest in Bahrain.

In Syria, the kingdom had called for arming rebels against the regime of President Bashar Al Assad, while Iran has been repeatedly accused of sending military aid to the Syrian government. Tehran has denied the claims.

Saudi Arabia last month called for the summit in a bid at "unifying the ranks" of Muslims.

Saudi Arabia hosts the headquarters of the 57-member pan-Muslim body — the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which is based in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.