In letter to French leader, King Salman warns of ‘all necessary measures’ if Doha buys defence system, Le Monde reports.
Saudi Arabia, one of the countries blockading Qatar, has threatened military action against its Gulf neighbour if it acquires the Russian-made S-400 aerial defence system, French daily Le Monde reported on Friday.
In a letter addressed to President Emmanuel Macron of France, Saudi King Salman expressed his “profound concern” with talks under way between Moscow and Doha for the sale of the advanced anti-aircraft weapon system.
The Saudi monarch, who asked that France increase its pressure on Qatar, said he was worried about the consequences of Doha’s acquisition of the mobile surface-to-air missile system which he said threatened Saudi security interests.
“[In such a situation], the Kingdom would be ready to take all the necessary measures to eliminate this defence system, including military action,” King Salman was quoted as saying in the letter, whose content Le Monde obtained via a source close to Elysee Palace.
In January, Qatar’s ambassador to Russia said talks for the acquisition of the air-defense system were “at an advanced stage”.
This came after the signing of an agreement on military and technical cooperation between the two countries in October 2017 to further cooperation in the defence field during a visit by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to the Gulf state.
On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia – alongside fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Egypt – imposed a sea, air and land blockade on Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorism” and destabilising the region, allegations Doha has consistently denied.
Among its list of demands for the resolution of the crisis, the blockading quartet asked that Al Jazeera media network and a Turkish military base be shut down.
In October, during a visit by King Salman to Moscow, the kingdom signed preliminary agreements to buy the S-400 system.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS