Bridging the Gulf: Kuwait Mediates the Latest Dispute

The U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, received by Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, after he arrived in Kuwait, Monday, July 10, 2017. (AP photo/ Jaber Abdulkhaleg)

The ongoing diplomatic confrontation between Qatar and four Arab nations – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt – has exacerbated regional tensions and created a deep rift within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), one of the most important organizations in the Middle East. As part of the effort to mediate the standoff, another GCC member, Kuwait, is working tirelessly to bridge the gap between the two sides.

The Arab nations abruptly severed ties with Qatar on June 4, citing Doha’s support for Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as for U.S. designated terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and subsequently provided Qatar with a list of 13 demands to meet for relations to be normalized. Kuwait Foreign Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah has shuttled back and forth between Doha, Riyadh, and Cairo and has met with leaders from around the world, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to help facilitate a constructive negotiation.

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