Sergey Lavrov (left) said that Russia “highly values” the efforts exerted by Kuwait and other countries to end the crisis in the Gulf and restore unity within the Gulf Cooperation Council. Image Credit: Kuna

Manama: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that his country “highly values” the efforts exerted by Kuwait and other countries to end the crisis in the Gulf and restore unity within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“It is in the best interests of each of these countries. It is in the interests of the Council itself and in the interests of the Russian Federation,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian news agency TASS.

The Russian minister was speaking at a press conference in Kuwait City at the end of a short visit to Kuwait as part of a four-country tour in the region.

Russia does not have currently any new initiative to address the crisis, Lavrov who was on his second visit to Kuwait in two years said.

The Qatar crisis emerged in the open on June 5, 2017 when Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed their diplomatic, trade and travel relations with Qatar, accusing it of harbouring extremists and of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

The Quartet issued a list of 13 demands and asked Qatar to comply with them in order to resume their relations.

However, Qatar dismissed the charges and rejected the demands, resulting in a stalemate that has persisted until today.

Kuwait led intense mediation efforts to end the worst crisis in the region, but no breakthrough had been achieved so far.

Gulf nationals say that a golden opportunity for a fresh start was missed at the regular GCC summit held in Riyadh on December 8 when Qatar’s representation at the high-level meeting was lower than expected.

The GCC is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.