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Qatar’s emir visits Kuwait today

Doha’s delaying tactics to resolve its dispute with the Arab Quartet has put Kuwait in a compromised position

Gulf News

Dubai: Qatar’s Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani is scheduled to visit Kuwait today.

Officially Kuwait has described the visit as a “fraternal” one “to offer greetings and best wishes to the Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah on the month of Ramadan”.

However, Gulf observers said the real aim of the visit is to ensure that the Qatar crisis is not relegated further on the agenda of priorities in the region.

“In the absence of real options to break free of its growing isolation, Qatar is adopting tactics to stir up media and to revive mediation attempts,” the observers were quoted as saying by London-based Al Arab daily on Monday.

“However, such tactics by Doha in confronting its crisis have become a burden on Kuwait as well as a source of embarrassment, in light of the plan by Qatar to keep the mediation alive and reactivate it whenever it reaches a dead end, but without making any practical steps to facilitate the Kuwaiti mission.”

On June 5, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt severed their diplomatic, trade and travel relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremists and funding terrorism.

The Quartet issued a list of 13 demands and wanted Qatar to respond positively to them.

However, Doha denied the charges and rejected the list.

Kuwait led several mediation efforts to narrow the gap between the two sides and reach an agreement that would put an end to the worst crisis to hit the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

However, the mediation efforts failed to achieve any incremental success and the Quartet regularly said the Qatar issue slid way down their priorities in the region.

“Qatar is engaged in a forward escapism policy and focuses on the media and propaganda to face the Quartet. A recent example is the decision by the Qatari Ministry of Economy and Commerce to ban the sale of imported goods from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. This is pure window-dressing since there are no significant quantities of commodities from those countries being traded in Qatar,” the daily said.

In an interview published by the London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said the Quartet was not affected by its decision to boycott Qatar and that Doha was the only side being affected.

“There is a quick and calm mechanism for Gulf leaders to resolve their differences and crises, which usually ends in the interest of the people… But Qatar changed the rules of the relationship, and rushed to present the case around the world, which caused the prolongation of the crisis,” he said. “There is no glimmer of hope now to solve this crisis.”

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