Saudi Arabia squashes talks with Qatar just hours after hopes for a breakthrough

Saudi Arabia on Saturday suspended any dialogue with Qatar, accusing it of “distorting facts,” just after a report of a phone call between the leaders of both countries suggested a breakthrough in the Gulf dispute.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, suspending air and shipping routes with the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which also is home to the region’s biggest U.S. military base.

The phone call was the first publicly reported contact between the two leaders since the start of the crisis. Both Qatar’s Emir and the Saudi Crown Prince “stressed the need to resolve the crisis by sitting down to the dialogue table to ensure the unity and stability of the GCC countries,” QNA reported.

Sheikh Tamim welcomed the proposal of Prince Mohammed during the call “to assign two envoys to resolve controversial issues in a way that does not affect the sovereignty of the states,” QNA said.

Saudi Arabia later issued a second statement citing an unnamed official at the ministry of the foreign affairs denying the QNA report. “What was published on the Qatar News Agency is a continuation of the distortion of the Qatari authority of the facts,” SPA reported citing the Saudi official. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announces the suspension of any dialogue or communication with the authority in Qatar until a clear statement is issued clarifying its position in public.”

Source Credit: CNBC
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