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Kuwait calls for GCC unity despite crisis
October 24, 2017, 5:50 pm

 Kuwait’s Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said the Gulf crisis could see negative developments despite hopes and wishes. “We must all be fully aware of the dangers of escalation, as it represents an open call for regional and international interference and conflicts that have serious consequences for the security of the Gulf countries and their peoples,” Sheikh Sabah said on Tuesday as he opened the 15th legislative term of the parliament.

“Therefore, everyone must know the mediation of Kuwait, a country that is aware of the possibility of expansion of this crisis, is not just a traditional mediation by a third party between two different parties. We are not a third party. We are one party with the brothers on the two sides. Our sole goal is to reconcile the two sides and to restore the Gulf home, our own home, and to make moves to protect it from rifts and collapse,” he said.

History and the next generations of the Gulf and the Arab world will not forget and will not forgive those who contribute, even one word, to escalate and fuel the dispute and cause the collapse of this beautiful edifice, he added.

Kuwait has been actively mediating for a settlement of the crisis that erupted in the open on June 5 when Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE severed their diplomatic and trade ties with fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremists and funding terrorism.

Kuwait and Oman are the two other members of the regional alliance established in 1981. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as Egypt, which also cut ties with Qatar on June 5, issued a list of 13 demands and insisted that Doha respond favourably as a first move to iron out differences and restore relations. Qatar has rejected the accusations and the demands.

Despite the efforts exerted by Shaikh Sabah and Kuwait, no incremental progress or breakthrough has been achieved in the standoff, and as the date of the annual GCC summit draws closer, new efforts are being exerted by Kuwait to ensure it is held in December and in Kuwait as decided last year.

According to reports, the summit could be delayed by six months to give more time for diplomatic efforts to ensure that the most active Arab alliance is not fractured.

“The GCC is a bright light of hope in the darkness of the Arab night. It is the candle that lights up the long tunnel in which joint Arab action lies and it is a model worthy of emulation for constructive agreements and cooperation in the great Arab world. The cracking and collapse of the GCC is the fracture and collapse of the last Arab stronghold of joint action,” Shaikh Sabah said in his address.

“I call upon our fellow citizens to abide by our approach to [stay] calm and avoid absurd escalation of words in order to contain this crisis and overcome it with the help of God. What brings us together is much greater and stronger than what may divide us. Let us pray to God to purify our hearts, calm our souls and heal the wounds so that the GCC remains a towering entity, a strong bastion and a banner of happiness, safety and prosperity.”

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