Last updated: 7 November, 2014

Kuwait emir on mediation mission ahead of GCC talks

The emir of Kuwait visited Qatar and the United Arab Emirates Friday in a bid to bring two of the Gulf's most powerful nations closer ahead of crucial talks next week.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who is tasked with kick-starting rapprochement between Doha and its Gulf neighbours, met the Emirati vice president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi before talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Gulf news agencies reported.

Qatar is accused by other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood — several members of whom are in jail in the UAE — and offering a safe haven to other banned Islamist groups.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain all withdrew their ambassadors to Doha in March, sparking one of the GCC’s worst diplomatic rows since its creation in 1981.

Gulf foreign ministers will meet in Doha on Monday to prepare ground for the annual GCC summit, set for December 9.

Sabah discussed “the progress of the GCC” during Friday’s meetings, Emirati official WAM news agency said.

At a GCC conference in Riyadh in August, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Khaled al-Sabah said an agreement had been reached with Qatar to “soon overcome” the dispute, but declined to say when Gulf ambassadors might return to Doha.