AFP/Saudi king holds ‘brotherly’ talks with Qatari emir

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SHAFAQNA – The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamid al-Thani met with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud in Jeddah Monday evening for a “brotherly” meeting, Qatari and Saudi news agencies reported.

During the meeting, “they discussed aspects of cooperation between the two countries, in addition to the latest developments in the Arab, Islamic and international arenas,” the Saudi Press Agency said.

The emir was accompanied by Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and an official delegation.

The two regional powers have increasingly been at loggerheads over the last few years, amid differences over policy on the Syrian opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood and the government in Egypt, among other areas.

The Saudi-Qatari meeting comes as the opposition Syrian National Coalition failed over the weekend to elect a prime minister.

A member of the National Coalition who declined to be named said the biggest dispute at theIstanbul meeting had centered around a split between the favored candidates of vital fundersSaudi Arabia and Qatar.

The official said that out of 13 hopefuls, the two front-runners were former agriculture minister Walid al-Zohbi – seen as being close to Riyadh – and Ahmad Tohme, the provisional head of the coalition, who is reportedly backed by Doha.

“Qatar made clear that its financial support to the coalition would end if Tohme was not re-elected,” another participant told AFP.

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