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Saudi King Calls for Arab, Gulf Summits in Makkah

Saudi King Calls for Arab, Gulf Summits in Makkah

Sunday, 19 May, 2019 - 06:15
Saudi King Salman has called for an urgent summit in Mecca among Arab allies amid rising tensions with Iran. Reuters
Riyadh- Saleh Al- Zayed
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, called on leaders of GCC and Arab countries to hold two emergency summits in the Holy city of Makkah on Ramadan 25 (May 30) to discuss ways to enhance regional security and stability in the wake of the attacks on commercial vessels in UAE territorial waters and on two Saudi pumping stations by Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militias.

The announcement was made by an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The two summits will take place one day ahead of the 14th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to which King Salman has invited 57 members.

The Saudi Press Agency quoted the ministry official as saying that Arab and GCC leaders at the summits would discuss the recent aggressions and their repercussions on the region.

Last Sunday, four commercial vessels had been sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, outside the Strait of Hormuz, including two Saudi oil tankers and two days later drones attacked oil installations west of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The UAE said on Sunday that "critical circumstances" in the region require a united Gulf Arab and Arab stand, amid heightened tensions with Iran following last week's attacks.

A foreign ministry statement published on state news agency WAM welcomed a call by Saudi Arabia's King Salman to convene emergency summits in Makkah.

For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said in a press conference held on Sunday morning that the Kingdom is following with great concern the latest developments at the regional and international arenas, which are escalating because of the actions of the Iranian regime and its hostile proxies in the region.

“Saudi Arabia does not want a war in the region and does not seek to do so and will do its utmost to prevent this war,” Jubeir said.

However, the Minister stressed that if the other side chooses war, the Kingdom will respond firmly and decisively and will defend itself and its interests.

The King’s call for holding two urgent summits came as several procedures and warnings were taken for fear of a possible confrontation in the Gulf between the United States and Iran.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Notice to Airmen in the US said that all commercial aircraft flying over the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman needed to be aware of Iran’s fighter jets and weaponry, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

And while reports published in the US said President Donald Trump might order an attack on Iran without the Congress’ approval, Iraqi officials said ExxonMobil Corp. began evacuating staff from Basra, south of Iraq.

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