Saudi Crown Prince Declines G7 Invitation

Saudi Crown Prince Declines G7 Invitation

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has declined an invitation to the G7 summit in Italy due to the Hajj pilgrimage season in his country, which starts on Friday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Bin Salman was among several Middle Eastern leaders invited to the Group of Seven meeting as Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni seeks to strengthen Rome’s relations with the Gulf states, according to media sources.

A statement from the Saudi government on Wednesday stated that the Crown Prince had sent an apology to Meloni, declining the invitation to attend the gathering scheduled for June 13 in Puglia due to “commitments related to supervising pilgrimage.” The Hajj is set to begin on June 14, drawing approximately 1.5 million visitors to Saudi Arabia’s Mecca.

The Prince acknowledged the robust relationship between the two countries and wished the Italian authorities success in hosting the summit.

Saudi media had previously reported that bin Salman had been invited, and Reuters noted last week that he would attend a G7 meeting for the first time.

Italy has extended invitations to more than a dozen countries and entities, including leaders from Middle Eastern and North African countries, to participate in this year’s meeting. UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Jordanian King Abdullah II, and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune are among the leaders expected to attend the summit, according to the event website.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced it would not participate in the so-called ‘Ukraine peace summit’ set to take place on June 15 and 16 at Burgenstock Resort in Switzerland. Riyadh cited the absence of Russia as a key reason for rejecting the event.

The gathering has been promoted by Kiev and its Western supporters as the most realistic approach to resolving the conflict with Russia. Moscow, which has been deliberately excluded from the event, dismissed the talks as meaningless without its participation.

“commitments related to supervising pilgrimage”

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Written by Layla Hadid

Layla Hadid is a passionate freelance journalist hailing from Midrand, known for her insightful coverage and compelling storytelling. With a keen eye for uncovering the stories that matter, Layla has made a name for herself in the journalism landscape of South Africa. Her work spans a variety of topics, from local community issues to broader, socially impactful stories that resonate with a diverse audience. Layla's dedication to truth and transparency has earned her respect and admiration among peers and readers alike.


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