French FM meets Amir for Gulf cri­sis talks

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

French For­eign Min­is­ter Jean-Yves Le Drian held talks with top of­fi­cials in Kuwait yes­ter­day in a bid to bol­ster the state’s at­tempts to me­di­ate in the Gulf cri­sis. Le Drian met with HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Kuwait’s for­eign min­is­ter, state news agency KUNA said, for talks on a re­gional rift which has seen Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Egypt and Bahrain sever all ties with Qatar.

Le Drian, who was due in the United Arab Emi­rates yes­ter­day night, stopped in Qatar and Saudi Ara­bia at the start of his two-day Gulf tour on Satur­day. The French for­eign min­is­ter has sup­ported Kuwait as a me­di­a­tor in the Gulf cri­sis, which he said should be re­solved “by the Gulf coun­tries them­selves”. “France does not want to sub­sti­tute the me­di­a­tor,” Le Drian said in Saudi Ara­bia on Satur­day. “It wants to be a fa­cil­i­ta­tor by join­ing ef­forts of other coun­tries”.

Le Drian’s visit comes af­ter a four-day me­di­a­tion mis­sion by US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son, which ended on Thurs­day with no an­nounce­ment of progress to­wards de­fus­ing mount­ing ten­sions in the Gulf. Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies im­posed sanc­tions on Doha on June 5, in­clud­ing clos­ing its only land bor­der, deny­ing Qatar ac­cess to their airspace and or­der­ing their cit­i­zens back from the emi­rate. The four Arab states ac­cuse Qatar of ties to Iran and of fund­ing Is­lamist ex­trem­ist groups. Qatar has de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions. The Gulf cri­sis is the worst to hit the re­gion since the es­tab­lish­ment of the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil in 1981. — AFP

KUWAIT: HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah meets French For­eign Min­is­ter Jean-Yves Le Drian at Bayan Palace yes­ter­day. — AFP

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