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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Sabah heads to Washington to discuss Qatar crisis 

The Kuwaiti emir has been chief mediator in the three-month stand-off between Qatar and four other Arab nations, but with little success so far

The Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah arriving for talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan on February 23, 2015 in Amman, Jordan. The emir is due to meet US president donald Trump on September 7. Jordan Pix/ Getty Images)
The Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah arriving for talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan on February 23, 2015 in Amman, Jordan. The emir is due to meet US president donald Trump on September 7. Jordan Pix/ Getty Images)

Kuwait's ruler is expected to arrive to Washington on Friday to meet with US president Donald Trump to discuss the Qatar crisis, in which Sheikh Sabah has been mediating.

The Kuwaiti emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Jaber Al Sabah, has been chief mediator in the three-month stand-off between Qatar and four other Arab nations, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt but with little success so far. The ruler of the oil-rich staunch US ally is scheduled to meet Mr Trump next Thursday.

Sheikh Sabah's visit comes after Mr Trump spoke with Saudi King Salman on Wednesday and urged an end to the diplomatic dispute with Qatar.

This will be Sheikh Sabah’s fourth visit to the US since he became the emir in 2006, and it comes as the US administration is throwing its weight behind Kuwait’s mediation in the “intra-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) political dispute,” Lawrence Silverman, the US Ambassador Kuwait, said.

Kuwait and the United States are trying to heal a bitter rift between Qatar and the four Arab countries that has damaged business ties and disrupted travel for thousands of citizens in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

The dispute began when the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain severed political and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran, the regional arch-rival to Saudi Arabia. Doha denies the charges.

US officials also have shuttled among the countries, seeking to end the crisis engulfing America's Mideast allies.