Kuwaiti ruler and King Salman meet amid Qatar row

1 / 3
King Salman receives Kuwait ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah (left) at the Al Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
2 / 3
King Salman receives Kuwait ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah (left) at the Al Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
3 / 3
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
0

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!“


Militants claim responsibility for Iran troops abduction

Updated 56 min 9 sec ago
0

Militants claim responsibility for Iran troops abduction

  • Jaish Al-Adl says they were kidnapped and taken to bases inside Pakistan
  • Islamabad said last week it was actively looking for missing men

TEHRAN: A militant group has claimed responsibility for the abduction of 12 Iranian security personnel near the border with Pakistan, Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA reported Monday.
“The terrorist group Jaish Al-Adl (Army of Justice in Arabic) has posted two photos... claiming that those in it are the forces abducted” on October 16, ISNA said.
Jaish Al-Adl, formed in 2012, is a successor to the Sunni extremist group Jundallah (Soldiers of God) which has carried out a spate of attacks on Iranian security forces in recent years in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.
The photos show seven members of the elite Revolutionary Guards force and five police commandos, all in combat gear, according to state news agency IRNA.
The Iranians, including intelligence officers, were abducted near Lulakdan, a village 150 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Zahedan, capital of Sistan-Baluchistan.
They were “made unconscious” by a “single infiltrator” and then kidnapped and taken to bases inside Pakistan, said Guards commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, quoted by IRNA.
The photos also show a haul of automatic weapons and sniper rifles, rocket launchers, machine-guns, grenades and ammunition, apparently seized from the Iranian forces.
Sistan-Baluchistan has long been a flashpoint, with Pakistan-based Baluchi separatists and militants carrying out regular cross-border raids against Iran.
The province has a large, mainly Sunni Muslim ethnic Baluchi community which straddles the border.
A delegation led by the Guards’ ground forces commander Mohammad Pakpour visited Pakistan on Monday to follow up on efforts to free the Iranians, the force said on its website.
Pakistan said last Wednesday that it has launched “active” efforts to locate the missing men.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has blamed the kidnapping on “our common enemies unhappy with the existing close, friendly relations between Pakistan and Iran.”