Riyadh. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz has called for emergency meetings of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) and the Arab League, following mysterious “sabotage” attacks on Saudi and Emirati oil tankers as well as drone strikes targeting Saudi oil pumping stations.
The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Saturday that Salman had invited Arab leaders to convene urgent summits in the city of Mecca on May 30 to discuss ways to “enhance the security and stability in the region.”
An official source at the Saudi Foreign Ministry said that the Saudi monarch had called the meetings due to “grave concerns” about recent attacks on commercial vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and drone strikes on oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia as well as the effects of those incidents on supply routes and oil markets.
The summits are meant “to discuss these aggressions [sic] and their consequences on the region,” the source said.
The Emirates’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has welcomed the Saudi call for the emergency meetings.
“The current critical circumstances entail a unified Arab and [Persian] Gulf stance toward the besetting challenges and risks,” the ministry said in a statement.
On May 12, four oil tankers, including two Saudi ones, were purportedly targeted near the port of Fujairah, in what the Emirates described as “sabotage” attacks. While Riyadh and Abu Dhabi failed to produce evidence of the attacks on their vessels, pictures emerged of a Norwegian-flagged tanker at the port having sustained some damage.
Two days later, drone strikes were launched on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia. These attacks were believed to have been carried out by Yemen’s Houthi fighters in retaliation for the prolonged Saudi war against Yemen.
The attacks led Saudi Arabia to halt its main cross-country oil pipeline temporarily.