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‘Qatar continues distorting facts, fabricating news’

Saudi Arabia calls Qatar’s bluff on telephone call between Saudi Crown Prince and Qatari Emir

Gulf News

Dubai: A Saudi Foreign Ministry official has said that what the Qatar News Agency, QNA, published did not have any relevance to truth, and that what had been published by QNA was a continuation of the distortion of facts by the Qatari authority, the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, reported.

In a statement also carried by WAM, SPA said, “it clearly shows that the Qatari authority has not yet understood that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not ready at all to tolerate the change by the Qatari authority of agreements and facts. This is evident in the distortion of the content of the contact received by the Crown Prince from the Emir of the State of Qatar minutes after its completion.”

The contact was at the request of Qatar and its request for dialogue with the four countries on the demands set out, said SPA.

However, the Qatari position “proves that the authority in Qatar is not serious about dialogue and continues its previous policies. (Therefore) the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declares that any dialogue or communication with the authority in Qatar shall be suspended until a clear statement explaining its position is made in public and its public statements are in conformity with its obligations.”

The Kingdom “affirms that the floundering of the Qatari policy does not enhance the confidence needed for dialogue”, SPA concluded.

The call between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, and Qatari Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani on Saturday was their first high-level contact since the eruption of Qatari crisis in June.

After the call, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said Crown Prince Mohammad would talk to Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates — the other Arab nations boycotting Qatar — and then release details.

The state-run Qatar News Agency said Riyadh and Doha had agreed to send two envoys to discuss the dispute, and that the two leaders “stressed the need to resolve this crisis by sitting down to the dialogue to ensure the unity and stability” of Gulf nations.

Saudi Arabia reacted angrily to the Qatari statement, issuing a second message saying Doha’s statement did not have “any relevance to truth.”

The call also comes after Kuwait’s emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who has been unsuccessfully mediating in the crisis, met Thursday in the White House with President Donald Trump, who himself offered to arbitrate.

President Trump called both His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence

During the phone call, Shaikh Mohammad and Trump discussed bilateral relations and a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern, said WAM.

SPA said the US-Saudi telephone conversation reviewed the bilateral relations between the two “friendly countries and developments in the region and the world.”

“They stressed the need for all countries to abide by the commitments they made at the Riyadh Summit aimed at defeating terrorism, financing it and combating extremist ideology, and asserted the need to strengthen the security of the region and the danger of the Iranian regime,” according to SPA

—With additional inputs from AP