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Qatar's Sheikh Tamim to visit Kuwait

malzarooni@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 29, 2017 | Last updated on May 29, 2017 at 10.54 pm
Qatars Sheikh Tamim to visit Kuwait
Amir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

(AP)

Sheikh Tamim is likely to visit Kuwait City on a GCC patch-up mission

The Amir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is planning to visit Kuwait tomorrow, apparently to solicit Kuwait's mediation in repairing bruised relationship with fellow GCC states over its stance on Iran's role in the region and its support to extremist groups, according to Kuwaiti diplomatic sources.

The Turkish news agency Anadolu, quoting Kuwaiti sources, said the stated purpose of the Amir's visit was to exchange Ramadan greetings with the Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, but the importance of the visit is not lost on political observers, who believe that Qatar is knocking on Kuwait's door to find a way out of the political and diplomatic muddle it has landed itself in.

The visit follows a meeting Kuwait's first deputy prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah had with the Qatari Amir last Friday in Doha. Sheikh Sabah reportedly offered his country's good offices to resolve the simmering differences between the Gulf neighbours.

Qatar has always been known for its erratic behaviour with regard to some of the core principles of the GCC.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain had recalled their ambassadors from Doha in 2014 in protest against Qatar's support to a Muslims Brotherhood group. The GCC observers believe that Qatar had deviated from the agreement known as the Riyadh document which ended the previous dispute. The agreement talked of evolving a mechanism wherein the actions of one GCC state does not affect and prejudice the sovereignty and interests of another GCC state.

Qatar had at that time agreed to rein in extremist and dissident activists operating from its soil and control anti-GCC and anti-Egypt coverages by its media and television channels. But it took no time for Qatar to deviate from these solemn commitments and indulge in the same old malicious propaganda against neighbours which had led to the earlier rift.

Even though some analysts do not rule out the possibility of reaching a political solution, the terms and conditions of the solution will be stronger and tougher this time and Qatar should seriously try to rebuild confidence that it had breached several times.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash said there was an urgent need to rebuild trust among GCC nations. "The Gulf Cooperation Council countries are passing through a new sharp crisis that carries within it a great danger," Gargash tweeted. "Fending off sedition lies in changing behaviour, building trust and regaining credibility," he added, without mentioning Qatar by name.

He said that the road to resolving any crisis "between someone and his brothers was to have true intentions, abide by commitments, change the behaviour that had caused damage and turn a new page".

"Our position and our stability are in our unity and to have honest intentions," he added. The latest tensions began when the Qatar official news agency published some controversial statements attributed to Sheikh Tamim in which he spoke against some of the fundamental policies of the GCC. But the Qatari authorities went back on these statements and attributed them to cyber hacking by some enemy forces. But this theory was not bought by Saudi and Emirati media. Later, Sheikh Tamim received a phone call from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani which strengthened the suspicions of the Gulf states.

malzarooni@khaleejtimes.com

Mustafa Al Zarooni


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