World, Middle East

Eyeing mediation role, Kuwaiti emir heads to Dubai

Sheikh Sabah hopes to help contain unprecedented row between Qatar, other Arab states

Eyeing mediation role, Kuwaiti emir heads to Dubai FILE PHOTO - Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah

By Mohamed Abdul-Ghaffar


Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah on Wednesday set out for Dubai in hopes of containing an unprecedented diplomatic row between Qatar and a handful of other Arab states, according to the official Kuwait News Agency.

The emir is joined on his trip by Foreign Minister Sabah al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Mohammad al-Abdullah al-Mubarak al-Sabah, among other high-ranking officials, the news agency reported.

Sheikh Sabah’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) comes within the context of ongoing mediation efforts to resolve the current crisis in relations between Qatar on one hand and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen on the other.

The Kuwaiti emir met with Oman’s foreign minister earlier Wednesday after paying a visit to Saudi Arabia one day earlier.

During a telephone call with Qatari Emir Tameem Bin Hamad al-Thani, U.S. President Donald Trump offered assistance in helping the parties reconcile, including through a White House meeting "if necessary", the executive mansion said in a readout of the call. 

Trump stressed the importance of cooperation within the Gulf "to prevent the financing of terrorist organizations and stop the promotion of extremist ideology".

On Monday, five Arab states -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Yemen -- abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Mauritania followed suit the following day, while Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations with Doha.

Saudi Arabia has also closed its land borders with Qatar, geographically isolating the tiny Gulf state.

Doha, for its part, strenuously denies accusations that it is a supporter of terrorism, describing recent moves to diplomatically isolate it as “unjustified”.

 *Michael Hernandez contributed to this report from Washington 


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