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Saudi Arabia to host emergency talks on Iran tensions



Saudi Arabia to host emergency talks on Iran tensions


The summit is expected to focus on tensions with Iran after recent attacks in the Gulf region for which Tehran was blamed.

Earlier this month, four commercial marine vessels were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and explosive-laden drones attacked two oil pipeline booster stations inside Saudi Arabia.

The United States blamed Iran for the attacks, an accusation denied by Tehran.

On May 18, Saudi King Salman called for leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a U.S.-allied bloc, and the Arab League to meet for the emergency summits in the Saudi holy city of Mecca.

Qatar said its Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani would represent it in the meetings.

He would be the highest Qatari official to visit Saudi Arabia since a diplomatic row erupted between the two Gulf neighbours two years ago.

On Wednesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf called the attacks in the energy-rich Gulf “cowardly acts’’ and warned they threaten the global economy.

“These acts should be confronted with all strength and firmness,’’ he told an Islamic conference in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

The assaults came amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

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