Phone Call Between Saudi Crown Prince, Qatar’s Emir Sparks Media Row
Saudi Arabia says it has suspended dialogue with Qatar to resolve an ongoing conflict with its Gulf neighbors, following a fresh row over a phone conversation between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Saudi Arabia claims the Qatari News Agency misrepresented the substance of the call.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar appear to be engaging in diplomacy-by-megaphone once again, as the media of both states wrangle over a phone call Saturday between leaders of the two countries, ostensibly to mediate a three-month-old conflict.
Salman and al-Thani spoke after efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Ahmed al Sabah to bring the two sides together.
Qatari media reported that Salman and al-Thani each agreed to appoint an envoy to sit down and discuss outstanding differences, following mediation efforts by Trump. It said both sides agreed on the need to resolve their conflict at the negotiating table “to preserve the unity and stability of the Gulf Cooperation Council, while not compromising the sovereignty of individual states.”
But the Saudi Press Agency made no mention of the appointment of envoys to discuss the conflict, insisting that Salman would talk to allies Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt before releasing details about the substance of his conversation with Qatar’s emir.
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