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Iran says Qatar-Saudi spat caused by Riyadh conference outcomes

May 30, 2017 at 11:09 am

A general view from the Arabic Islamic American Summit at King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 21 May, 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Anadolu Agency]

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday that the problem between Saudi Arabia and Qatar was caused by the outcomes of the Riyadh conference and the alignment that was misplaced and said to have been unanimous. This was a direct reference to the meeting of Arab and Muslim leaders addressed by Donald Trump recently.

“Iran’s policy towards neighbouring countries is clear and seeks to extend a hand of friendship to all,” insisted Bahram Qasimi. “We have always sought the language of dialogue and friendship with our neighbours in order to strengthen common issues.” He made his comments during his weekly press conference in Tehran.

“We do not define what the duty of these countries is, but we warned before the Riyadh conference against a plot woven by the Zionist entity [Israel] to divide the Islamic world and find discord and strife in it,” he added. The Riyadh conference, said Qasimi, was held for specific purposes despite the problems and failures that it faced. “This will be clear in the future,” he claimed.

Read: What’s behind the UAE-Saudi escalation against Qatar?

According to the Iranian official, when Saudi Arabia sent out invitations to the conference — excluding Iran — many of the countries involved were not aware that a final communique would be issued. “This has been made clear to us through various diplomatic contacts,” he explained, “and a number of countries did not agree with the content of the statement.”