Published: Thu, June 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kuwait's emir meets with Qatari leader amid diplomatic rift

Kuwait tried to mediate a resumption of diplomatic and commercial ties between Qatar and several of its Arab neighbors Tuesday, while U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to back those isolating the energy-rich nation over allegations it supports terror groups and Iran.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah arrived in Dubai on Wednesday.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah "expressed his wish" that Qatari ruler "work on easing tensions and refrain from taking any decision that might cause escalation", the Kuwait state news agency Kuna said.

The two UAE leaders reiterated the importance of stepping up regional and worldwide coordination to combat extremism and terrorism and to block their financing sources.

The Emir was aiming to mediate in the dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours led by Saudi Arabia, lawmakers in Kuwait City said earlier.

"He [Sheikh Tamim] received a call from the emir of Kuwait asking him to postpone it in order to give time to solve the crisis", the ministry added.

An outspoken Emirati ruling family member, the writer and political analyst Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, even raised the prospect of Qatar's leadership changing.

"On this scale, it's unprecedented", said Hatoon al-Fassi, a Saudi historian of Gulf Affairs and Women's Studies at Qatar University.

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The bodies of 19 civilians have been recovered and local authorities have reported more civilian deaths still to be tallied. He says a top Filipino militant is believed to have been killed and the leader of the attack was wounded in the fighting.

"Countries may of course have some issues, but dialogue must continue under every circumstance for problems to be resolved peacefully", Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a press conference on 5 June.

The Gulf countries ordered their citizens out of Qatar and gave Qataris overseas 14 days to return home.

The crisis began in part over what the Qataris described as a false news report planted during a hack of its state-run news agency.

It has also been revealed that in addition to Qatari nationals not being allowed to enter the UAE, anyone with a Qatar residency visa is also no longer eligible for visa on arrival in the UAE.

UAE general prosecutor Hamad Saif Al-Shamsi has said social media users who post pro-Qatar statements face fines of up to Dhs500,000 and between three and 15 years in prison, Al Arabiya News reported.

Russia denied Wednesday it hacked the agency after a CNN report quoted anonymous USA officials saying they suspected Russian hackers.

"That hack showed the UAE's real concerns and that what we really say in our private emails is what we say publicly", Gargash said.

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