Kuwait’s Emir calls for settling “unacceptable & damaging” Gulf dispute

The Emir of Kuwait has called for the settlement of the Gulf dispute that he described as “unacceptable” and “damaging”.

Addressing the opening session of parliament’s new term on tuesday, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said the damaging 30-month-old dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors “is no longer acceptable” and must be resolved.

The Gulf crisis has greatly weakened the unity of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in which Qatar and its foes are members.

Besides Kuwait and Qatar, the GCC includes Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Gulf crisis broke out in June 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, plus Egypt severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and banned Qatari airplanes and ships from utilising their airspace and sea routes along with Saudi Arabia blocking the only land crossing.

The Saudi-led coalition cited Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism as the main reason for their actions, insisting that Qatar has violated a 2014 agreement with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“It is no longer acceptable or bearable for the dispute that erupted between our GCC brethren to continue,” Sheikh Sabah told the legislators.

Sheikh Sabah, who has been acting as a mediator to resolve the dispute, said the “row has weakened our capabilities and threatened our achievements”, calling for a negotiated solution.

The region was going through an exceptional and unprecedented phase with conflicts and instability occurring in nearby countries, he said insisting that the GCC countries and the Arab world must overcome differences and set sight on the overall benefit and welfare of the peoples or else they might meet an ill fate similar to various other countries and regions.

To protect Kuwait from internal and external conflicts, the Kuwaiti people should unite and cast away their differences and work together for a better future, he said.

The Kuwaiti ruler also hit out at the misuse of social media, saying it has been used to create divisions and discord in society and to promote sectarianism.

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