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The New Arab

Kuwait wants to mend Egypt-Saudi relations, says deputy minister

The Egyptian government was supported by billions of dollars in aid from Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 December, 2016

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Kuwait's deputy foreign minister has said his country would like to "help clear the air" between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and potentially bring about a reconciliation.

Kuwait's deputy foreign minister has said his country would like to "help clear the air" between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and potentially bring about a reconciliation.

Earlier this week while in Manama, ahead of the annual Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] summit, Khaled al-Jarallah said that Kuwait was optimistic it could to fix the rift between Cairo and Riyadh.

"We hope this blows over soon; just as everyone wants," local daily al-Jarida quoted Jarallah as saying.

The Egyptian government was supported by billions of dollars in aid from Saudi Arabia in the immediate aftermath of the 2013 military coup but ties appear to have frayed between the two countries amid disagreements over Syria.

Saudi Arabia backs rebels trying to oust Assad, while Egypt's president has expressed support for the Syrian leader.

Saudi Arabia suspended oil shipments to Egypt in October, a move announced after Cairo backed a Russian-drafted resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council.

Kuwait stepped in last month to replace Riyadh as the main supplier of oil to Egypt, agreeing to provide two million barrels of crude per month.

Last month, reports emerged that Kuwait, the UAE and Bahrain were attempting to end the differences between the two longtime allies.

This week, sources told The New Arab that Saudi Arabia would not mend ties with Egypt until Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri was sacked and two contested Red Sea islands were transferred to Saudi sovereignty.

The statement from Jarallah is the first time a senior government official has acknowledged the existence of tensions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and serious efforts to mediate the fallout.

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