Three Arab leaders have confirmed their intention to take part in a summit hosted by Saudi Arabia amid rising tensions around Iran, according to Masrawy news website report.
According to the report, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah as-Sisi, Tunisian President Beji Caid es-Sebsi and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have confirmed their participation in the summit which will take place in Mecca on 30 May.
Bahrain, Kuwait and UAE have also welcomed the emergency meeting convened by Saudi King Salman but have not yet disclosed who will represent them at the summit.
Qatar, the emirate boycotted two years ago by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE, among other states, also confirmed receiving an invitation to the summit.
Riyadh convened the emergency summit after attacks on its pipeline and tankers near the Strait of Hormuz. Both Saudi Arabia and UAE claimed their tankers were “sabotage,” but have not presented any evidence for their claims, The New York Times reported on 13 May. A Norwegian company has also claimed that its tanker was “hit with an unknown object.”
The US believes Iran’s allies are behind the attacks on the tankers and the pipeline.
The UAE Foreign Ministry said current outstanding circumstances demand that Arab nations come up with a unified position regarding imminent dangers. The Saudi Media link the pipeline attacks to “terrorist Houthi militias [in Yemen] backed by Iran,” according to The Hill.
The Saudi-convened summit comes amid rising tensions between the US and Iran. The US has bolstered their armed forces in the region citing the need to counter an alleged military threat from Iran. Iran denies any wrongdoing and demands that the EU provides a functional plan to shield its interests from US sanctions. Tehran pledges to continue to adhere to the terms of the so-called Iranian deal, which the US abandoned unilaterally in 2018.
The Mecca summit will precede the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit that will also take place in Mecca the next day. Iran is a member of OIC.
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