Hostile tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar may soon thaw, with the Saudi King extending an invitation to Qatar’s Emir to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council summit on May 30.
Rabat – Since June of 2017, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have had increasingly hostile relations following a blockade on the Qatari peninsula by numerous Arab nations. Alleging that Qatar had been promoting terrorist organizations, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE cut off ties with Doha, and relations in the region have remained unstable since.
However, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has made efforts to mend relations by inviting Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to an emergency Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit to be held on May 30.
The summit, to be held in Mecca, was planned in response to recent “aggressions and their consequences” in the region, specifically several attacks by Houthi militants on Saudi oil tankers and drilling sites.
Accepting the invitation, Al Thani landed in Jeddah last night, marking the first Qatari plane to land in Saudi Arabia since tensions between the two countries flared up two years ago.
The region recently experienced a wave of hostility following Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, whose government blames Iran for supporting and funding terrorist organizations on the Arabian peninsula.
Although Tehran has denied these claims, Saudi Arabia continues to blame the Iranian government for funding Houthi insurgents, as attacks and attempted attacks in Saudi Arabia become more frequent.
Tensions also flared following a decision by Washington to send military assets to the Persian Gulf in response to alleged Iranian aggression and plans to attack the United States; however, these allegations have not been confirmed.
Though Saudi Arabia and Qatar have begun to mend relations after years of hostility, bringing a greater chance for peace in the region, the nations of the Arabian Peninsula must still try to resolve their differences with their neighbours across the Persian Gulf if there is to be any chance for a permanent and lasting peace in the Middle East.