Riyadh calls for two urgent separate Gulf, Arab summits  

Mohammed El-Said
2 Min Read

King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia called on the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council and other Arab leaders for two urgent summits to discuss the consequences of the attacks that have lately targeted Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the two summits will be held on 30 May in Mecca, according to a Saturday statement published by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Meanwhile, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed on Saturday night with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the developments in the region and means of maintaining its security and stability.  

The Saudi call comes amid tensions in the Arabian Gulf region between the US and Iran. Two weeks ago, the US sent a Patriot missile defence system to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran. The move comes just months after the Pentagon removed several Patriot batteries from the Middle East.

Moreover, the US withdrew its non-essential diplomatic staff from its embassy to Iraq, after attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf region last week.

The SPA quoted an official in the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying that King Salman’s call came as he was keen on consulting with Arabian countries for boosting security and stability in the region.     

He added that one of the main reasons for the call is the attack which has targeted ships in the Gulf in the UAE’s territorial water, in addition to the attack of the Houthi movement on two Saudi oil-pumping stations affiliated with the east-west pipeline had been hit by explosive-laden drones.

Last Sunday, two Saudi oil tankers were among four vessels attacked off the coast of the UAE. The UAE did not blame any party for the attack and no parties claimed responsibility for it until now.

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Mohammed El-Said is the Science Editor for the Daily News Egypt with over 8 years of experience as a journalist. His work appeared in the Science Magazine, Nature Middle East, Scientific American Arabic Edition, SciDev and other regional and international media outlets. El-Said graduated with a bachelor's degree and MSc in Human Geography, and he is a PhD candidate in Human Geography at Cairo University. He also had a diploma in media translation from the American University in Cairo.