RIYADH: Saudi King Abdullah invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for an extraordinary summit of Muslim leaders to be held this month in the city of Makkah, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.
The Saudi king sent a written letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inviting him to attend the extraordinary Islamic solidarity meeting, which will be held in Makkah in mid-August, SPA reported. Tensions have been running high between the Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shia-dominated Iran as both regional powers had taken opposite stances on the uprisings in Bahrain and Syria. Iran had voiced support to a Shia-led uprising in Bahrain which Saudi Arabia had sent troops to crush last year.
In Syria, Saudi Arabia had called for arming rebels against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad who belongs to the Alawite minority, an off-shoot of Shia Islam while Iran has been repeatedly accused of sending military aid to the Syrian government. However, Tehran has denied the claims. Saudi Arabia last month called for the summit in a bid at “unifying the ranks” of Muslims. Saudi Arabia hosts the headquarters of the 57-member pan-Muslim body, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is based in the city of Jeddah. – Dailytimes