Three Arab leaders confirm plans to attend Mecca urgent summits on Iran tensions

Doha: Three Arab leaders have confirmed their plans to take part in the emergency summits called by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for May 30 in light of rising tensions around Iran, media reported on Sunday.

Among those who have announced their plans to join the high-level meetings are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, according to the Arab Masrawy news portal.

Meanwhile, Persian Gulf nations, such as Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have welcomed Riyadh’s initiative but have not yet revealed who will represent them at the summit. The UAE Foreign Ministry has said that the current international situation requires from Arab countries to take a unified position.

Meanwhile, Qatar — which has been under diplomatic and economic blockade, imposed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt in June 2017, — has not yet made any statements about the upcoming summits and the possible level of participation in them.

Earlier in May, the Saudi king urged the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab League to gather for extraordinary summits in the city of Mecca on May 30 in the wake of a recent Houthi attack on the country’s oil facilities and a mysterious sabotage against several tankers off the UAE coast.

Even though no one has claimed responsibility for the sabotage, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed earlier in the week that it was “quite possible” that Tehran was behind it. The two attacks came as tensions have further escalated between Washington and sanctions-battered Iran after the former boosted its military presence in the Gulf region earlier in May, deploying a bomber task force and an aircraft carrier to the region in “a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime.” (SPUTNIK)

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