Thursday, July 18, 2019 Last Updated 1 Min 45 Sec ago English Edition
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Friday 31 May 2019 03.29 PM

Saudi King Salman urges international effort to thwart Iran

Saudi King, Salman

Mecca : Saudi Arabia's King Salman opened an emergency summit of Arab leaders in Islam's holiest city of Mecca on Friday with a call for the international community to use all means to confront Iran, but he also said the kingdom remains committed to peace. King Salman delivered his remarks at Arab summits in Mecca that were hastily convened after a spike in tensions between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran.

Tensions have also spiked between Tehran and Washington in recent weeks, with the US sending an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf. The Trump administration's taken a hard line with Iran, first withdrawing from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers last year, then imposing punishing economic sanctions on the country. Saudi Arabia's effort to draw regional leaders to Mecca reflects the kingdom's desire to project a unified Muslim and Arab position on Iran.

Still, there were visible signs of tension and disagreement among the Arab officials gathered at the meetings, which began just before midnight on Thursday and ran into the early hours of Friday due to Ramadan, which practices include day-long fasts and extended evening prayers.

Morocco did not send its king amid a cooling of ties with Saudi Arabia, while Qatar sent its prime minister rather than its ruling emir amid a diplomatic standoff with Arab neighbours. Iraq, which lies on the fault line between Shiite Iran and the mostly Sunni Arab world, rejected the Arab League's final statement after the summit and was not a signatory to it. PTI

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