Saudi Arabia suspends contact with Qatar after phone call

Sept. 8 (UPI) — Saudi Arabia on Friday suspended contact with Qatar after the representatives of the two countries involved in a diplomatic rift spoke over the phone, Saudi officials said.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani spoke for the first time since June when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar.

The bloc of four Gulf states sanctioned Doha, citing its support of terrorism and destabilization of the region. The group issued a list of demands that Doha must meet in order to lift the sanctions and restore diplomatic ties.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that Thani called Salman on Friday in an effort to start a dialogue between the two countries and discuss the meeting of those demands.

SPA later reported the Saudi Foreign Ministry took issue with the way the state-run Qatar News Agency presented the conversation — it “did not have any relevance to truth.”

Saudi Arabia took issue with the fact that the Qatar News Agency did not specify it was Doha that initiated the phone conversation.

“The contact was at the request of Qatar and its request for dialogue with the four countries on the demands, and because 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 and that its public statements are in conformity with its obligations,” SPA reported.


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