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Monday, October 25, 2021

BREAKING: Kuwait says GCC crisis close to being solved


“Fruitful discussions” to move towards resolving the GCC crisis have taken place in recent days, Kuwait’s foreign minister said in a statement on Friday. 

Parties involved in the talks agreed on desires to maintain GCC stability, Ahmed Nasser Al Sabah confirmed, just hours after similar statements were made by his Qatari counterpart.

In the televised statement, Al Sabah confirmed the three year long crisis, which saw Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt impose an illegal land, air and sea blockade on Qatar, was on the cusp of being resolved.

The Kuwaiti FM thanked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner for their role in the breakthrough and expressed desire for a final and lasting solution to the dispute.

Responding to the statement, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani thanked Kuwait for its years-long mediation efforts.

“The Kuwaiti statement is an imperative step towards resolving the GCC crisis,” he said on Twitter.

“We express our gratitude to the State of Kuwait for their mediation & the United States for their efforts. The interest and security of the people of the Gulf & the region remain our top priority,” the FM added.

Just hours prior to the Kuwaiti statement, Al Thani also confirmed movement on resolving the crisis, after weeks of reports of suggesting a breakthrough.

However, despite the progress between the GCC states, Al Thani said he could not predict whether a breakthrough was imminent or would fully resolve the matter.

“We believe the end of the crisis is important for the security of the region and for the sake of our people. This crisis needs to end based on mutual respect and the rights of all people of the Gulf,” the foreign minister and deputy prime minister said, adding any solution must be a comprehensive one that preserves the unity of the GCC.

“Qatar is not differentiating between any of the countries. We hope things will move in the right direction but we cannot yet predict if it will be imminent and if it will be resolved in one day,” he added.

Following the statements on Friday, Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister congratulated the leaders of the GCC for “reaching a final deal to solve the crisis”.

Saudi Arabia also commented saying it was grateful for the steps taken by Kuwait.

“We consider with great appreciation the efforts made by the sisterly State of Kuwait to bridge the gap in viewpoints regarding the Gulf crisis, and we thank the American efforts in this regard, and we look forward to it being successful for the benefit and good of the region,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan tweeted on Friday.

The recent breakthrough is seen as an outcome of Kushner’s recent mediating visits to Qatar and Saudi Arabia this week.

On Wednesday, Kushner met with Qatar’s Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha following talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Neom the day before. His visit was anticipated to search for a solution to end the three-year long Gulf crisis that was triggered by the illegal blockade on Qatar and initially supported by the US president himself.

Speculation about the end of the three-year-long blockade on Qatar have been on the horizon for a while, with Saudi Arabia hinting at a possible solution to the GCC crisis in recent weeks.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that his country was seeking ways to end the blockade on Qatar. It was the second time Farhan made such a statement, with the foreign minister making similar claims earlier in October.

“We continue to be willing to engage with our Qatari brothers, and we hope that they are as committed to that engagement,” said bin Farhan in October during a virtual event hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a US based think-tank.

Read also: BREAKING: Qatar confirms ‘movement to end’ GCC crisis

However, despite numerous mediating efforts, the UAE has stated that there are “no chances” of ending the blockade on Qatar.

“I don’t think it gets resolved anytime soon simply because I don’t think there has been any introspection,” said Al Otaiba in response to a question about resolving the Gulf Crisis, accusing Qatar of “playing the victim.”

The Gulf crisis erupted three years ago, when Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar, ordering a full, illegal land, air and sea blockade.

The blockading Quartet falsely accused Doha of supporting terrorism – a charge Qatar has consistently rejected.

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