World Kuwait emir heads for Riyadh to meet fellow Gulf leaders

Kuwait emir heads for Riyadh to meet fellow Gulf leaders

Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah
Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah

(AA) – Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah left his country on Sunday heading for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh al-Sabah will meet fellow leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the official news agency, KUNA, said.

The agency, however, did not describe the Riyadh meeting as a “summit” probably to avoid projecting it as an alternative to the GCC summit, scheduled to be held in the Qatari capital Doha in December.

The Bahraini royal court said earlier on Sunday that Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa would head to Riyadh to attend the meeting.

Gulf leaders are expected to discuss means of ending diplomatic rifts between Qatar on one hand and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the other.

Relations between the fellow GCC member states worsened earlier this year when the three countries accused Doha of interfering in their affairs.

In March, they recalled their ambassadors from Doha in an unprecedented move that reflected the enormity of Gulf divisions.

Many observers, however, linked the rift to Doha’s perceived support for ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and the latter’s Muslim Brotherhood group, which remains the target of a relentless security crackdown by Egypt’s military-backed authorities.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the first two Arab countries to welcome Morsi’s ouster by the army last year following opposition protests.

Kuwaiti parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, for his part, expressed hope earlier today that efforts exerted by Sheikh al-Sabah would heal inter-Gulf rifts.

The Riyadh meeting comes in the wake of a Gulf tour by Sheikh al-Sabah, during which he visited Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE.

Local media reports said the trip aimed at narrowing the gap between the two sides.

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