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The New Arab

Qatar hails Kuwait Emir's appeal to end Gulf crisis

The GCC was established in 1981 between oil-rich Gulf nations [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 October, 2017

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Qatar has hailed Kuwait's emir for appealing for an end to a near five-month political crisis between Qatar and Arab rivals led by Saudi Arabia.
Qatar hailed Kuwait's Emir for appealing for an end to the five-month political crisis between Qatar and Arab rivals led by Saudi Arabia.

Qatar's foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it applauded Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed Al Sabah for warning in an address to parliament that the spat could lead to the collapse of the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC].

In a statement carried by official media, the ministry said the Emir was preserving the rights of future generations by attempting to de-escalate the situation and heal the wounds.

"Qatar has a strong belief in the fairness of its position in this crisis and its adherence to dialogue based on mutual respect," it added.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, severed all diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing the gas-rich emirate of supporting Islamist extremist groups and having too close ties to Iran.

Kuwait has led mediation efforts since then, but without success.

Kuwait's ruler warned members of the GCC on Tuesday that the union could fall apart due to the ongoing diplomatic crisis.

"An escalation would be an explicit invitation for regional and international intervention, which would have serious consequences for the security of the Gulf nations and their people," he said.

"History and future generations will not forgive anyone who contributes, even one word, to fuelling this dispute," he added.

The GCC was established in 1981 between oil-rich Gulf nations to encourage economic and political cooperation between the members at a time of security concerns in the region.

Neighbouring republics Iraq and Iran were embroiled in a fierce war that flowed into the Gulf's waters. Later, Kuwait was invaded by Saddam Hussein's Iraq leading to the so-called Gulf War.

Qatar warned last week that the crisis is hampering operations against the Islamic State group out of its Al-Udeid air base, home to some 11,000 US soldiers.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has just visited Riyadh and Doha in hopes of easing the spat and unifying Washington's Gulf allies against Iran.

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