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!“