Saudi King Cancels G20 Trip Following Stolen European Weapons Cache

Saudi King abandons G20 trip as European weapons cache stolen

Just a few days after a cache of weapons and explosives was stolen from a military warehouse in Portugal, Saudi Arabia’s King announced he would not be attending the G20 summit in Germany.

A large number of grenades, ammunition, and explosives were stolen from Lisbon in which the Portuguese President, Marcelo rebelo de Sousa, hinted that the theft was linked to arms thefts in other Nato states.

According to BBC News:

The Portuguese defence minister initially described the raid as “serious”, but the size of the missing arsenal only emerged when El Español (in Spanish) published what it said was a list of the stolen armaments. Among the weapons taken were:

  • 1,450 9mm ammunition cartridges
  • 150 hand grenades
  • 44 anti-tank grenades
  • 18 tear gas grenades
  • 102 explosive charges
  • 264 pieces of plastic explosive

El Español said it had seen the list after it was handed to Spain’s anti-terror forces.

President de Sousa said a far-reaching investigation should look into the “facts and responsibilities” and called for measures to be taken to prevent such a theft “of increasing seriousness” from happening again.

 

Shortly after the theft, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced that he will not attend the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 7-8.

According to Rferl.org:

The spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on July 3 that the Saudi government had notified Berlin that the 81-year-old monarch would not participate in the annual G20 meeting.

Seibert did not provide a reason for King Salman’s cancellation.

But Saudi diplomatic sources told dpa on July 3 that the cancellation was linked to Saudi Arabia’s dispute with Qatar.

In June, Saudi Arabia led its neighbors Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt in cutting ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

They are demanding that Doha end its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, shut down the Doha-based satellite television broadcaster Al-Jazeera, downgrade diplomatic ties with Iran, and close a Turkish military base in Qatar.

Saudi Finance Minister Muhammad al-Jadaan will attend the G20 summit in place of King Salman.