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Another sham fight among gulf rulers: After isolation, Qatar says welcomes mediation



Qatar says it is ready to give Kuwait a chance to mediate a potential resolution of the crisis that has emerged since several Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, cut their diplomatic ties with the country.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani on Tuesday cited the Qatari emir as having voiced readiness for mediation while talking to his Kuwaiti counterpart on the phone.

A day earlier, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, the Maldives, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, and Yemen’s former government broke off relations with Qatar and blocked connecting routes with the country. Taking the move, Riyadh and its allies accused Doha of backing “terrorist” organizations, and intervening in the affairs of other Arab states.


The Qatari foreign minister also said Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah had advised Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, to delay a scheduled public address as Kuwait City tried to mediate.

Qatar wants to give the Kuwaiti emir the ability to “proceed and communicate with the parties to the crisis and to try to contain the issue,” the Qatari emir said, according to the foreign minister.

The minister also said that the isolation had an “unprecedented impact” on Qatar’s citizens and on family relations in the Persian Gulf’s Arab countries, apparently referring to the difficulties that have emerged in family visits as a result of the political tensions.

He said additionally that Doha would not take countermeasures and that it “believes such differences between sister countries must be resolved through dialog.”

Regional diplomacy

The development was followed by a flurry of calls by the Islamic Republic and other regional powers regarding the matter.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (seen below) held separate telephone conversations with his opposite numbers from Qatar itself, from Turkey, Oman, Kuwait, Indonesia, Iraq, Tunisia, Malaysia, Lebanon, and Algeria, as well as the European Union (EU)’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini to discuss the issue.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also spoke by phone with Qatari, Kuwaiti, Russian, and Saudi leaders on lowering the tensions.

Meanwhile, Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah travelled to potential mediator Kuwait to address the prospect of de-escalation, and a Saudi official also reportedly travelled to Kuwait City.

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