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The New Arab

Qatari emir to visit Kuwait to defuse Gulf tensions

The foreign ministers of Qatar [L] and Kuwait meeting in April [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 29 May, 2017

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Sheikh Tamim of Qatar will visit Kuwait in his first official visit since a series of controversial quotes were erroneously attributed to him, sparking turmoil among his regional neighbours.

The emir of Qatar will reportedly make an official state visit to Kuwait next Wednesday, in the first summit-level visit since tensions flared over Qatar's perceived proximity to Tehran.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who was misquoted in a number of statements with regards Iranian relations and Donald Trump among other controversial issues last week, will visit Kuwait's Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber, to officially "congratulate" him on the month of Ramadan.

Sheikh Tamim's visit follows an emergency visit to Doha on Friday by Kuwait's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

Sheikh Sabah's visit was intended to quickly settle down the tensions between Gulf states.

A number of pro-Saudi media channels broadcast reports on Qatar's close relations with Iran, particularly on foreign policy issues, over the weekend, adding fuel to what is being termed the 'Gulf media wars'.

Qatar's Sheikh Tamim held a phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the weekend, drawing anger from a number of his Gulf Cooperation Council allies.

Rouhani tried to play down the phone call, saying that he wanted the "world of Islam, which is suffering from divisions, to advance toward peace and brotherhood."

The current spat between Qatar and its neighbours began after the Qatar News Agency published a number of stories which conflicted with the agency's official line.

The agency reported a four-hour cyber attack on its website at around midnight last Tuesday, leading to the publication of a number of fake statements attributed to Sheikh Tamim.

These included remarks on "tensions" with the US administration, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and relations with Iran.

"The Qatar News Agency website has been hacked by an unknown entity," reported the Government Communications Office in a statement.

Investigators have been reportedly assigned to look into the incident, which the foreign minister of Qatar called an 'electronic crime' last week.

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