Kuwait Emir to visit US for Qatar talks with Trump
31 Aug 2017 - 19:27
Kuwaiti Emir H H Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will hold talks with US President Donald Trump in Washington next week, state media said Thursday, as a three-month-old crisis splits the Gulf.
Kuwait has emerged as a key mediator after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt announced on June 5 they had cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.
Kuwait's state-run KUNA news agency said that Sheikh Sabah would leave the emirate on Friday for the United States to meet with Trump in Washington on Thursday next week.
The United States has given mixed signals about its policy on the Gulf crisis.
Trump immediately expressed his staunch support for Saudi Arabia after the Arab states announced sanctions against Qatar, but some other US officials including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later adopted a more measured tone.
Riyadh and Doha are both key allies of the United States. Trump chose Saudi Arabia for his first overseas visit as president in May, two weeks before the Gulf crisis erupted.
Qatar is meanwhile home to a huge US air base, where the headquarters of Centcom -- the regional command which leads operations against the Islamic State jihadist group -- is based.
Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, of ties to Shiite Iran and fundamentalist Islamist groups.
Doha denies the claims and accuses the other countries of an attack on its sovereignty.