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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Russian FM holds talks in Kuwait before heading to UAE, Qatar

Mr Lavrov is scheduled to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was in Kuwait on Monday to discuss the latest regional developments. In this photo, taken on August 25, he is seen meeting with South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha in Moscow. EPA/ Maxim Shipenkov / EPA
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was in Kuwait on Monday to discuss the latest regional developments. In this photo, taken on August 25, he is seen meeting with South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha in Moscow. EPA/ Maxim Shipenkov / EPA

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov met with Kuwaiti officials on Monday in Seif Palace as part of a regional visit that will also see him travel to the UAE and Qatar.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Mr Lavrov is scheduled to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha.

She said earlier this week that “much attention” will be given to the ongoing conflict between Qatar and the four Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. The quartet accuses Qatar of supporting terrorist and extremist groups and of intervening in the internal affairs of other countries. Doha denies the allegations.

“The parties will hold in-depth discussions of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, primarily the need to settle regional conflicts by political and diplomatic methods, through dialogue based on mutual respect for the interests and concerns of all the sides involved,” she said.

“Much attention in this respect will be given to the ongoing crisis in Qatar’s relations with the UAE and several other Arab countries.

“Russia has firmly urged the countries involved to abandon confrontational rhetoric and instead settle the dispute through negotiations and compromise solutions.”

The Kuwait News Agency reported on Monday that Mr Lavrov discussed with officials, including Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, the implementation of agreements between the two countries.

Russia has said that it supported Kuwait’s mediation efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis, which was also addressed by the US and Turkey during visits by top officials to the countries involved.

The four boycotting countries are sticking to their 13 demands as well as the six broad principles that they say must provide a framework for any solution. The officials have said that they are open to talks on the implementation of their demands but not their content.

The demands include the closure of Qatar-owned Al Jazeera news channel, which the quartet says provides a platform for extremists and dissidents, and the shutting down of a permanent Turkish military base in the country.