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Saudi invites Qatar for GCC Summit on 30th May, first time in two years

29 May 2019

For the first time since the outbreak of Gulf Crisis, in the past two years, Qatar Airways would land at Jeddah Airport on 30th May. Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has been invited by the Saudi King Salman to attend the emergency GCC summit on 30th May.

According to the statement by the Qatari Foreign Ministry, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani received the message for the meet.

Back in June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE had cut ties with Qatar, and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar. The nations accused Qatar of supporting 'terrorism' and having links with the regional foe, Iran, and prohibited opposition political movements such as the 'Muslim Brotherhood'.

GCC summit 2019

However, Qatar has always maintained its stand that the accusations were baseless.

Meanwhile, early this month, Saudi’s King Salman proposed holding two summits in Mecca during the end of May to discuss the recent ‘aggressions and their consequences’ in the region, for which, Qatar's Emir, Al Thani has also been invited.

The summits have been called for to discuss the implications of drone strikes on oil installations in Saudi, and the attacks on four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the UAE coast, early this month.

According to Riyadh, Tehran had a role to play in the recent drone attacks on two oil pumping stations in the Saudi Kingdomed, as claimed by Yemen’s Houthi group.

However, Iran still continues to deny having played any role in the attacks, and the senior Iranian military commander has firmly announced that the country is not looking for war.

Early this week, Saudi Arabia said that it shot down a bomb-laden drone deployed by the Houthis to attack an airport in the Kingdom. It was the Saudi airforce that intercepted and destroyed the drone, which had targeted Jizan airport, in proximity to the southern border with Yemen.

Tensions in the Gulf have been on the rise, ever-since the decision by the United States in early May to send an aircraft carrier strike force and B-52 bombers in a show force against what is claimed as the imminent plan by Iran to attack US assets. But, there is no evidence on the alleged plan as yet.

Reports from Washington say that the latest reinforcements are in response to a 'campaign' of recent attacks, which includes the launch of a rocket into the ‘Green Zone’ in Baghdad.
The UAE has said that the 'critical circumstances' at present, in the region, require a 'unified Arab and Gulf stance'.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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