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Saudi foreign minister holds talks in Oman amid regional dispute

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, August 11, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

DOHA (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister flew to Muscat on Thursday to hold talks with Omani officials, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television reported, as tensions rose between Qatar and other Arab powers locked in a diplomatic crisis.

Adel al-Jubeir met Oman’s foreign minister in Muscat, the channel said late on Thursday without elaborating.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-adversary Iran - charges Qatar calls baseless.

Qatar vowed on Thursday to ride out the isolation imposed on it by fellow Arab states over its alleged support for terrorism.

Oman stands apart from its Gulf Arab neighbours in keeping a cordial, even collaborative, relationship with Iran: much to the chagrin of its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners, it played the role of intermediary in opening negotiations between the United States and Iran.

However, an assertive Saudi Arabia, which is leading a bombing campaign against Iranian-allied rebels in Yemen, has insisted that the Gulf Arab monarchies draw closer together to confront Tehran.

Reporting by Ali Abdelatti; Writing by Tom Finn; Editing by Mark Potter