Saudi Arabia calls urgent Gulf, Arab League meetings over tensions

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz (pictured March 2019) invited Gulf leaders and Arab states to two emergency summits in Mecca to discuss recent "aggressions and their consequences" in the region

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia has called for urgent meetings of the regional Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League to discuss escalating tensions in the Gulf, the Saudi official news agency said on Saturday.

The Saudi Press Agency said King Salman had invited Gulf leaders and Arab states to two emergency summits in Mecca on May 30 to discuss recent “aggressions and their consequences” in the region.

Tensions have soared in the Gulf with the US deploying an aircraft carrier and bombers to the region over alleged threats from Iran.

Four ships including two Saudi oil tankers were damaged in mysterious sabotage attacks Sunday off Fujairah, an emirate located at the crucial entrance to the Gulf.

That incident was followed by drone strikes Tuesday by Yemen’s Huthi rebels on a major Saudi oil pipeline, which provided an alternative export route if the Strait of Hormuz closed.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to prevent shipping in Hormuz in case of a military confrontation with the United States, which has imposed sanctions on Tehran in recent months

Despite international scepticism, the US government has been pointing to increasing threats from Iran, a long-time enemy and also a rival of US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

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