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Saudi crown prince's visit to Kuwait 'fails' to address Gulf crisis amid tensions

Doha remains "open to dialogue" with the Saudis and its allies [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 October, 2018

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A meeting between Saudi Arabia's crown prince and the Kuwaiti Emir failed to address a diplomatic feud in the Gulf between Qatar and a Saudi-led bloc amid reports of tensions

A meeting between Saudi Arabia's crown prince and the Kuwaiti emir failed to address a diplomatic feud in the Gulf between Qatar and a Saudi-led bloc.

Sunday's state visit by Mohammed Bin Salman to Kuwait was marred by delays and a "tense atmosphere", The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported.

The heir to the Saudi throne was set to arrive in Kuwait City on Saturday but postponed the visit until Sunday and then delayed his meeting with Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah until the evening.

"Bin Salman did not discuss the issues that were planned to be addressed, such as the Gulf crisis, forming an Arab-Gulf force to counter Iran and a jointly controlled oil field," the report said.

"All that happened was the two sides took part in a dinner banquet at Bayan Palace,"

Kuwaiti political sources said the delays were linked to attempts by Bin Salman to impose conditions on Kuwait in regards to its efforts to mediate the Gulf crisis, which had been rejected.

A tribal leader who attended the banquet told The New Arab that the atmosphere was "tense".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt launched a blockade on Qatar last June, cutting diplomatic ties with Doha.

Sheikh Sabah has played a pivotal role in attempting to mediate a resolution to the blockade of Qatar, but efforts have so far failed because of the Saudi-led bloc's intransigence.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar together for the first time since the feud erupted.

At the start of a meeting with counterparts from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) along with allies Egypt and Jordan, Pompeo said that those present had "a shared interest in a wide range of security issues."

But speaking to reporters later, Qatar's foreign minister said there had been "no progress" in resolving the more than year-long spat, but said Doha remained "open to dialogue" with the Saudis and their allies.

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