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The New Arab

Kuwait's Emir to discuss Qatar blockade with Trump in Washington

The Qatar rift is expected to be the focus of discussions with Trump [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 September, 2017

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Kuwait's Emir, who has been leading mediation efforts to solve the Qatar rift, will meet with US President Donald Trump on Thursday.
Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah arrived in Washington on Wednesday ahead of a meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Economic and security aspects of the countries' relationship, as well as the Qatar dispute and Iran's intentions in the region, will be addressed during their meeting on Thursday.

The 88-year-old ruler of the oil-rich staunch US ally has so far been unsuccessful in his efforts to end the Qatar crisis.

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

The Emir, whose last working visit to Washington was in 2013, is leading a large delegation, which includes Kuwait's foreign, interior and finance ministers as well as the National Guard deputy chairman.

Kuwait's ambassador to the US Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the visit is "historic in its time and objectives".

"It marks a new beginning in our bilateral relations, and we will be looking for the next 25 years to advance our ties," he said. 

Marcelle Wahba, president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, noted that the Emir of Kuwait was the first head of state from the GCC countries to visit Washington since Trump took office.

"He is well-known and highly respected by senior US government officials and on Capitol Hill," Wahba, former US ambassador to the UAE, told emirati daily The National. "The bilateral relationship is very important for both Kuwait and the US … that includes close partnering on security, military and counter-terrorism initiatives."

While the Qatar stalemate will be the focus of regional issues at the White House on Thursday, a breakthrough is not expected.

"The US will want to hear the Emir's views on what more can be done to de-escalate tensions, but I do not expect any breakthrough announcements on Qatar during his visit," said Wahba.

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