Kuwaiti ruler and King Salman meet amid Qatar row

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King Salman receives Kuwait ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah (left) at the Al Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
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King Salman receives Kuwait ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah (left) at the Al Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
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King Salman and Kuwait ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah (left) hold talks at the Al Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 06 June 2017
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Kuwaiti ruler and King Salman meet amid Qatar row

JEDDAH: Saudi King Salman received on Tuesday the ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who flew to Jeddah in a bid to mediate an end to the diplomatic standoff between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the two rulers "reviewed the fraternal relations between the two countries, and discussed the latest events in the region." No other details were immediately available.
Sheikh Sabah flew out of Kuwait City on Tuesday afternoon, heading for Jeddah in what his court described as a “brotherly visit.”
Earlier, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said it had agreed to have Kuwait try to mediate the crisis, which erupted on Monday with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE simultaneously cutting diplomatic relations with Qatar.
All four accused Qatar of supporting terrorist and extremist groups and also siding with Iran.
Sheikh Mohammed disclosed that the Kuwaiti ruler had asked Qatar’s emir to hold off on giving a speech about the crisis late Monday night.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “received a call from the emir of Kuwait asking him to postpone it in order to give time to solve the crisis,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
Still, the minister struck a defiant tone, rejecting those “trying to impose their will on Qatar or intervene in its internal affairs.”
The state-run Kuwait News Agency reported Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al Sabah spoke with Qatar’s emir Monday evening and urged him to give a chance to efforts that could ease tensions. The call came after a senior Saudi royal arrived in Kuwait with a message from the Saudi king. An Omani diplomat traveled to Qatar on Monday.

Trump weighs in
US President Donald Trump — who traveled to Saudi Arabia for a recent conference of Arab nations and told Qatar’s ruler at the time that “we’ve been friends now for a long time” — weighed in on the conflict for the first time. Trump did not take a position, but appeared to suggest it was understandable to isolate Qatar.
“During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology,” he tweeted. “Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!“
He later tweeted: “Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!“


White House’s Kushner to finalize Palestinian economic plan on Middle East tour -official

Updated 11 min 30 sec ago
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White House’s Kushner to finalize Palestinian economic plan on Middle East tour -official

  • White House senior adviser Kushner will visit Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE

WASHINGTON: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will lead a US delegation on a tour of the Middle East to finalize details of his proposed $50 billion economic development plan for the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, an administration official said on Sunday.
Kushner, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, State Department official Brian Hook and Kushner aide Avi Berkowitz are expected to make make stops in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the official said.
They leave late this month and return to Washington in early August.
The official said the purpose of the trip is to “continue on the momentum that was created at the workshop in Bahrain and finalize the economic portion of the plan.”
They will also discuss the possibility of locating the development fund in Bahrain, the official said.
Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and the plan’s main architect, sought to build support for his ambitious economic proposals for the Palestinian territories at an international meeting in Bahrain in June.
Palestinians poured scorn on the Trump administration’s $50 billion investment plan to help achieve Middle East peace, but US Gulf Arab allies said the economic initiative had promise if a political settlement is reached.
Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week discussed creation of the fund with World Bank President David Malpass, the official said. The World Bank has a role in managing the fund.
The delegation was not expected to discuss Trump’s long-awaited political plan for the Middle East, and when it will be released remains unclear.