Kuwait has long played a constructive role in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) by bringing opposing parties together, but the Saudi-led bloc imposing a blockade on Qatar has been obstructing the mediation efforts by the Emir of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah to resolve the ongoing Gulf crisis, according to a report on Al Jazeera.
When the crisis erupted, both the Saudi-led bloc and Qatar turned to the Kuwait Emir. But they had very different motivations for doing so, the report said.
For Qatar, Kuwait is a trustworthy neighbour that has no vested interest in any kind of internal GCC conflict and Doha believes that Kuwait can easily understand and help to solve the current crisis.
“On the other hand, the Saudi-led bloc has a very different perspective regarding the nature of the role Kuwait can play in this crisis. Although they also seem to be welcoming Kuwaiti mediation, their motivation for doing so is to lessen the influence of outside actors in the crisis. They seem to be unwilling to resolve the crisis which is posing serious challenges for Kuwait,” Dr Ali Bakeer, a political analyst, wrote in Al Jazeera.
He said even though there is a broad regional and international consensus to support the role of the Kuwait Emir as a mediator in the crisis, Kuwait was unable to be effective and three rounds of mediation didn’t lead to the desired outcomes yet.
The Saudi-led bloc’s refusal to participate in and show any enthusiasm for a meaningful mediation process is hindering Kuwait’s efforts, he wrote.
“At the very beginning of the crisis, on June 5, Prince Khalid al Faisal, adviser of the Saudi King Salman, visited Kuwait to deliver a message to its Emir. Kuwait’s state-run news agency KUNA didn’t disclose the contents of the message; however, one source with knowledge of the situation told me that the purpose was to discourage the Emir [of Kuwait’s mediation efforts].”
The Emir of Kuwait was interested in avoiding a vicious cycle of destructive actions and reactions by both sides.
The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said,”There is nothing to negotiate with Qatar,” thus sabotaging the first round of the Kuwaiti mediation efforts, the report said.