Kuwait turns into po­lit­i­cal hub as Gulf cri­sis lingers

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Kuwait is turn­ing into a po­lit­i­cal ‘Mecca’ this week, with high-pro­file Arab and for­eign of­fi­cials ar­riv­ing and hold­ing talks in light of me­di­at­ing ef­forts led by His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAh­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in a bid to solve the Gulf cri­sis. Well-re­ceived on a global scale, His High­ness the Amir’s diplo­matic ini­tia­tive is seen as key to a more safe and sta­ble Ara­bian Gulf re­gion. Three out of the six Mem­ber State of the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC); Saudi Ara­bia, Bahrain, UAE, in ad­di­tion to Egypt, are in a po­lit­i­cal grid­lock with Qatar; an­other GCC mem­ber; a rather sen­si­tive sit­u­a­tion that the re­gion is not ac­cus­tomed to.

In this con­text, Boris John­son, the UK’s for­eign min­is­ter ar­rived to Kuwait yes­ter­day, while his US coun­ter­part Rex Tiller­son is ex­pected to be in Kuwait to­mor­row to dis­cuss devel­op­ments of the sit­u­a­tion and means to con­tain it. John­son, who em­barked on his Gulf tour yes­ter­day in Saudi Ara­bia, stressed that his visit is mainly to pro­vide sup­port for the Kuwaiti me­di­a­tion ef­forts and build­ing on Premier Theresa May’s state­ment that the Gulf’s se­cu­rity is one of Bri­tain’s as well. The four Arab coun­tries are ac­cus­ing Qatar of back­ing ter­ror­ist groups, ex­press­ing at the same time dis­tress over Doha’s ‘neg­a­tive’ re­sponse to de­mands they had put forth as a con­di­tion for lift­ing eco­nomic and travel sanc­tions on the Gulf coun­try.

Within the frame­work of the me­di­a­tion ef­forts, His High­ness the Amir had paid vis­its to Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, and Qatar, where he held con­struc­tive talks with lead­ers there, who in turn, warmly wel­comed the ini­tia­tive.

On July 5, Riyadh, Manama, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo re­ceived the re­sponse to their de­mands from Doha through Kuwait Ac­cord­ing to a joint state­ment by the group, the four coun­tries con­firmed that they have re­ceived the re­sponse af­ter the ad­di­tional 48-hours ex­ten­sion re­quested by His High­ness the Amir. —KUNA

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