Qatar says not invited to two summits in Saudi Arabia

Qatar says not invited to two summits in Saudi Arabia



Qatar has not received an official invitation to two emergency summits called by Saudi Arabia, a Qatari state minister said on Monday.

Saudi King Salman called for holding Gulf and Arab summits in Makkah on May 30 to discuss implications of recent attacks on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia and four ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Qatar, which is still isolated by its Gulf neighbors, has not received an invitation to the two summits,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan Al-Muraikhi said in a statement.

Last week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said armed drones carried out attacks on two oil-pumping stations on the East-West pipeline, which carries Saudi oil from the eastern province to the port on the west coast.

The attack came days after four ships were hit by a sabotage attacks near the UAE waters, including two Saudi oil tankers.

The summits will be held amid heightened tension between the U.S. and Iran with Washington deploying a carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Middle East, citing an imminent threat from Iran.

In mid-2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all abruptly severed ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups.

Qatar, for its part, has vociferously denied the allegation, describing the Saudi-led embargo against it as a violation of international law.

On Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accused Doha of supporting terrorism and insulting the umbrella Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), drawing fire from the Qatari Foreign Ministry.

“Jubeir’s remarks were regrettable irony, where he began by the need for reunification of visions, the Arab and Gulf ranks, and then attacked Qatar, wondering how the two things are right,” ministry spokesperson Lolwah Alkhater said in a statement cited by the official QNA news agency.

She said the Saudi diplomat “forgot or pretended to forget that the policies practiced by the four countries that imposed a blockade on Qatar for more than two years are policies that split the Gulf, creating a rift in joint Arab and Gulf action, and exerting pressure not only on Qatar but on a number of Arab countries”.

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