Kuwait steps up efforts to end Qatar diplomatic crisis

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Kuwait has stepped up its efforts to mediate an end to the economic and diplomatic blockade of Qatar.

The US president, Donald Trump, also rang the Qatari emir suggesting he come to the US to discuss a resolution to the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf in 30 years.

Kuwait ruler visits Saudi, UAE and Qatar

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah flew to Qatar on Wednesday night and was met at the airport by Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two held talks on how “restore the normal relations” of the Gulf.

Earlier Sheikh Sabah was in UAE, where he had discussions with Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

On Tuesday Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received Sheikh Sabah who flew to Jeddah in a bid to mediate an end to the diplomatic standoff.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the two rulers “reviewed the fraternal relations between the two countries, and discussed the latest events in the region.” No other details were immediately available.

Kuwait Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

On Monday Sheikh Sabah had called Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim and “urged him for restraint and not to take any measure that could escalate” the situation.

The Kuwaiti ruler had played a substantial role in a similar crisis in 2014 that eventually resolved the dispute between Qatar and its neighbours.

Trump offers help to defuse Gulf crisis

US President Donald Trump offered to help resolve the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Arab states in a phone call with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani on Wednesday.

A White House statement said the president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, “including through a meeting at the White House if necessary”.

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On Tuesday Trump spoke with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to call for regional unity.

Trump, in a later call with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, called for unity among Gulf Arabs “but never at the expense of eliminating funding for radical extremism or defeating terrorism”, the White House said.

Published on 8 June 2017

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