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Stakes high for Kuwait as mediator in Qatar crisis

Kuwait has established its neutrality in the Qatari crisis, but it has a lot at stake.

Kuwait has asserted itself as the key mediator amid the three-week-old Qatar crisis. Since three Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states — Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — severed economic and diplomatic relations with Doha earlier this month, Kuwait (as well as Oman) has been committed to an impartial role in the rift, with Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah quickly becoming a negotiator in the simmering row.

Kuwait’s “neutrality” in the GCC rift should come as no surprise given the country’s track record of seeking to bridge gaps between opposing sides in regional crises. Its efforts last year to resolve the Yemeni civil war by hosting several UN-sponsored meetings of leaders from warring factions highlighted the Arab Gulf state’s diplomatic approach to the Middle East’s raging conflicts, despite the talks proving futile.

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