Qatar’s emir is to travel to Kuwait in a visit aimed at enhancing bilateral ties amid a rift emerging between Qatar on the one side and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the other.
The monarch, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, will enter Kuwait City on Wednesday, Qatar’s al-Sharq paper reported on Tuesday.
Last Friday, Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Saba visited Doha.
Qatar drops a bombshell
Last Thursday, an article appeared on Qatar’s state-run news agency, quoting the emir as criticizing the United States, Saudi Arabia, and their client states for attempting to stir up tensions with “Islamic power” Iran.
A post also appeared on the agency’s Twitter page, quoting the Qatari foreign minister as saying that his country was withdrawing its ambassadors from Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE amid tensions.
The Qatari government soon said that the state agency had been hacked and that the remarks attributed to the emir and the foreign minister had never been made.
The official denial, which was offered several more times, nevertheless failed to stop the rift between the Persian Gulf Arab countries from widening. Saudi media viciously attacked Qatar, accusing it of having “betrayed” the other Arab countries particularly at a time when they had attempted to stage a show of “unity” against Iran in a much-publicized and extravagant series of events in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also blocked Qatari websites and broadcasters.
Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (seen below) later said the country was being targeted in a “hostile media campaign, which we will confront.” He was referring to the media blackout.
Demonstrating a more moderate stance however, Kuwait did not join the blackout. Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Jarallah called the ban “regrettable” and expressed Kuwait’s readiness to converge its views with those of Qatar.
Some analysts say Riyadh fears that the Arab Persian Gulf countries it has long sought to co-opt may be gravitating toward Iran, which Saudi Arabia perceives as a regional adversary.
Tehran has said time and again that it does not seek tensions with any of its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.