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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Saudi fumes on Russia missile shield to Qatar!

  • Riyadh threatens military action if the sale of sensitive tech to Doha goes ahead, says a Le Monde report.
Saudi Arabia has threatened military action against Qatar if it goes ahead and acquires Russia's top of the range S-400 air defence missile system, Le Monde daily reported.

Citing information it had obtained, Le Monde said on Friday that Riyadh had written to French President Emmanuel Macron asking him to intervene to prevent the deal going ahead and to help preserve regional stability.

There was no immediate official reaction from the president's office or the French foreign ministry to the report.

Saudi Arabia, backed by other regional powers including Bahrain and the UAE, broke off relations with Qatar in June last year, accusing the Gulf state of supporting radical militant groups and of being too close to Iran. They subsequently enforced economic boycott of Qatar.

In an effort to ease its isolation, Qatar has sought new friends, including Russia.

In January, it announced that talks with Moscow on supplying the sophisticated S-400 system were at an "advanced stage".

Le Monde said that in the letter sent to the French president, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, had expressed his "deep concern" with the discussions between Doha and Moscow and warned about the risk of escalation.

Saudi Arabia "would be ready to take all necessary measures to eliminate this defence system, including military action", the newspaper wrote.

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