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Qatar invited to two emergency summits – Letter from Saudi King

KUWAIT CITY, May 27, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has received on Monday an invitation from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abulaziz Al-Saud to attend the urgent Gulf Cooperation Council summit next Thursday. GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani delivered the invitation for the event, scheduled to be held in Makkah, to His Highness the Amir.

Al-Zayani was escorted by Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Qatar has been invited by Saudi Arabia to attend two emergency Arab summits being convened in the Saudi city of Makkah on May 30, Qatar’s foreign ministry said on Sunday, after previously saying it had not been.

Last week Qatar said it had not been invited to the two summits Saudi is planning in Islam’s holiest site to discuss the implications of drone strikes on oil installations in the Kingdom and attacks on four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the UAE coast earlier this month. Saudi, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed an economic and diplomatic boycott on Qatar since June 2017 over allegations that Doha supports terrorism and is cosying up to regional foe Iran. Qatar denies the charges.

Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received an invitation from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to attend the summit of Gulf Arab rulers and a wider meeting of Arab leaders, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The invitation and a letter was passed to Qatar by the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the statement said, without saying whether Qatar would accept it.

Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of ordering the drone strikes, for which Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis claimed responsibility. The Kingdom said that while it did not want war in the region, it was ready to respond strongly. The UAE has not blamed anyone for the sabotage of the tankers pending an investigation, and said it was committed to de-escalation. Iran has denied it carried out either attack. The UAE has said that the current “critical circumstances” in the region required a “unified Arab and Gulf stance”.

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