Saudi Arabia suspends dialogue with Qatar, accuses of ‘distorting’ facts:

On Saturday, September 9, Saudi Arabia suspended dialogue with Qatar and accused it of ‘distorting facts’ after a phone call between the rulers of both nations which could have had a hopeful outcome for the three month long Gulf row.

Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani spoke by the telephone with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman on September 8. Both rulers discussed the Gulf row and the telephone call was acknowledged by the state media of both countries.

The call came after Kuwait’s emir, who has been an unsuccessful in mediating the dispute so far, met Donald Trump on September 7. At the meeting, Trump himself offered to mediate.

Post the call between Saudi Arabia’s and Qatar’s rulers, the Saudi Press Agency stated that it would publish further details once the Crown Prince speaks to the leaders of Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. But the Qatar News Agency published details stating that Doha and Riyadh would be sending envoys to discuss the dispute. It also said that the call took place after Trump himself spoke to Sheikh Tamim and that the Saudi and Qatari leaders ‘stressed the need to resolve this crisis by sitting down to the dialogue to ensure unity and stability’ of Gulf countries.

Reacting angrily to Qatar’s statement, Saudi Arabia issued a second statement stating Qatar’s statement did not have ‘any relevance to the truth.’ Saudi Press Agency also stated ‘This proves that the authority in Qatar is not serious in dialogue and continues its previous policies. 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.

Sourced from Economic Times and NDTV

Saudi Arabia replaces nephew with son as kingdom’s new Crown Prince 

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, removed his 57-year old nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef, who was next in line to the throne. The King replaced him with his son, Mohammed bin Salman, as the heir. This major reshuffle was announced early on Wednesday.

According to the royal decree issued by the Saudi Press Agency, the newly appointed Crown Prince, who is currently Saudi’s Defence Minister, is also named as the deputy Prime Minister. The decree also stated that the former Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, is fired from his Interior Minister post. Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef is appointed as the new Interior Minister.

The members of the Allegiance-Pledge Commission voted 31 of 34 in the favour of making Mohammed bin Salman the Crown Prince, according to al-Arabiya channel.

According to media reports, the former Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, failed to play an important role in isolating Qatar. He was also slipping away from the public eye. Whereas, the new Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, took major overseas visits including his trip to the United States to meet President Donald Trump in March this year. Mohammed bin Salman, is also overseeing Saudi’s oil company and working to revamp the nation’s economy, reported the New York Times.

As the Defence Minister, the Crown Prince, is responsible for Saudi’s military intervention in Yemen. The Kingdom is leading a coalition of Arab allies and has bombed campaigns aimed at pushing Houthi rebels from Sana’a and is also working to restore the government in Yemen.

The new Prince is also taken a hard line in dealing with Iran. He said, “Dialogue with Shiite power is impossible because it seeks to take control of the Islamic world.”

News Source- The New York Times, Saudi Press Agency, al-Arabiya, Al-Jazeera

Image Source: Reuters