Saudi crown prince to discuss Qatar rift with Kuwait’s emir

Kuwait has sought to mediate the regional dispute between Saudi and its allies and Qatar



Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will arrive in Kuwait on Sunday for talks, with the Qatar dispute expected to be on the agenda.

Kuwait’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Thamer Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, told state news agency KUNA on Saturday that the two sides would focus on “developing ties” and “touch on regional issues of mutual interest”.

The crown prince will meet with Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, who has sought to mediate the regional divide between the Saudi-led group of Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE and Qatar, along with other officials.

Reuters cited a Gulf Arab official as confirming the boycott, which saw the four countries close diplomatic, trade and transport links with Qatar in June 2017 over its alleged support of terrorist groups, would be on the agenda.

Roads will be closed in Kuwait City on Sunday to facilitate Mohammed bin Salman’s arrival.

The talks come as the United States lays the groundwork for the launch of regional military alliance in January, dubbed the Arab version of NATO.

The group would include Saudi and all the Gulf Cooperation Council members including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, as well as the US, Egypt and Jordan.

Read: US plans launch of ‘Arab Nato’ in January

The formation of the alliance is complicated by the split, which is already reported to have seen US officials postpone plans for previous summits with Gulf leaders.

Read: US postpones planned Trump summit with Gulf leaders

Last week, the two sides sparred at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council after Qatar alleged the UAE violated International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (ICERD).

This followed the filing of a case against the UAE at the International Court of Justice over immigration policies that Qatar claims have separated Qatari families.

The UAE issued a statement from the four countries during the council meeting denying the allegations.

Read: UAE refutes Qatar’s allegations that it violated convention on discrimination