Qatar emir visits Kuwait amid Gulf fall-out

Qatar emir visits Kuwait amid Gulf fall-out
Kuwait and Qatar's leaders have held talks in Kuwait city, as a Gulf regional crisis continues.
2 min read
04 February, 2019
Kuwait and Qatar's leaders have met in Kuwait city [Anadolu]
Qatar's Emir Tamim al-Thani visited Kuwait on Monday, where he took part in talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, as a Gulf crisis continues to divide the region.

"Al-Sabah held official talks with visiting Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at Bayan Palace on Monday," Kuwaiti state news reported on Monday.

"The talks revolved around bilateral relations, issues of common concern and latest regional developments."

It comes as the blockade of Qatar - launched by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt in June 2017 - continues, with few signs of a breakthrough between the two sides.

Thani told a Qatari conference in December that he hopes Kuwait - which along with Gulf state Oman has remained neutral in the crisis - could play a role in resolving the crisis.

"We still believe that dialogue can restore the relationship under the sovereignty of countries," he said at the opening of the 2018 Doha Forum.

"We continue to rely heavily on the role of Kuwait and the role of other countries in the region to overcome the crisis."

Kuwait has been a go-to country for allies of Qatar and the Saudi-bloc who have been hoping to resolve the crisis.

Qatar has managed to fend off the blockade, and has opened up its trade links to other countries including Oman and Turkey.

The country is also riding high after it surprised millions of footballs fans by winning the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE, after defeating Japan in the final.

Tamim presented the Kuwaiti emir with a Qatari football jersey to thank Al-Sabah for his praise of the national team following the historic win.

"The two leaders will discuss bilateral relations and might talk about the GCC crisis but personally I don't think this is about it directly," said Ali Bakeer, an analyst and researcher. 

"The attitude of the anti-Doha quarter reflected by the UAE in the Asian Cup proves once again that without applying pressure - particularly from the US - on the UAE and Saudi Arabia, there will be no reconciliation.