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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Emir of Kuwait in Washington to discuss Qatar crisis

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed arrived in Washington ahead of a meeting with US president Donald Trump to discuss the GCC stalemate 

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad arrived in Washington on Saturday ahead of a meeting with US president Donald Trump. In this picture, taken on December 11, 2016, he is seen at an opening session of the new parliament in Kuwait City. Yesser Al Zayyat / AFP
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad arrived in Washington on Saturday ahead of a meeting with US president Donald Trump. In this picture, taken on December 11, 2016, he is seen at an opening session of the new parliament in Kuwait City. Yesser Al Zayyat / AFP

The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed, arrived in Washington on Saturday ahead of a meeting to discuss the GCC stalemate with US president Donald Trump.

The two men are scheduled to meet on Thursday to address a number of issues, including efforts to combat terrorism, but talks at the White House will most likely focus on the four Arab countries' boycott of Qatar.

Explainer: What you need to know about the Qatar crisis

The Emir of Kuwait has been chief mediator in the crisis that saw Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut all transport and diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations it is supporting terrorist groups and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. Doha denies the allegations.

This latest trip marks the Emir's fourth visit to the US since becoming ruler of Kuwait in 2006. It comes at a time when many are looking to the small Gulf state to exercise its mediation experience to reach a resolution to the three-month crisis.

Sheikh Sabah received a letter from the US president on other proposed topics for the agenda, which includes economic and educational integration between the two countries.

Read more: Kuwait envoys deliver letters to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt over Qatar crisis

Mr Trump has highlighted the fight against terrorism as one of his main focuses in the region, the leaders of whom have grown increasingly fond of the president’s hard-line approach to regional rival and Saudi-proclaimed sponsor of terrorism, Iran.

The White House said Mr Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia discussed during a phone call earlier this week cutting off terrorist funding and combating extremism. The two leaders also discussed Hurricane Harvey and Qatar.

The president urged all parties “follow through on their commitments made at the Riyadh Summit,” a statement often referred to by the quartet as the main justification behind their cutting off ties with Doha.