EU top diplomat to visit Kuwait as part of mediation efforts to end Gulf crisis

KUWAIT, July 17 (Xinhua) — European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will visit Kuwait on Sunday as part of the intensified mediation efforts to end the Gulf standoff, the official news agency KUNA reported Monday.

“I will be visiting Kuwait, the mediator that we support and accompany and with whom we are constantly in touch. So I will visit Kuwait next Sunday,” Mogherini, high representative of EU foreign affairs and security policy, told a press conference in Brussels after a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Mogherini will express EU’s support to the mediation efforts made by Kuwait to find solution to the crisis between Qatar and four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia, the report said.

Kuwait has been playing the role of mediator since the Qatari crisis started early last month, seeking a political solution to the dispute.

The Saudi-led bloc cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed an economic blockade on the tiny rich Gulf nation, accusing it of supporting terrorism while interfering in their internal affairs. Doha has denied all the charges, rejecting the 13 demands put forward by the Saudi-led alliance for resuming diplomatic ties.

On Monday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian briefed his EU counterparts on the outcome of his visit to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on July 15 and 16.

Mogherini said she had discussed with Le Drian during her visit to Paris last week the messages he would bring to the Gulf region.

“We discussed in particular the need to avoid tensions in the Gulf,” she said, noting the crisis has negative repercussions on the crisis in Libya, a top priority for the EU.

Ahead of Le Drian’s visit, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had already visited the Gulf respectively in an attempt to calm down the tensions there and seek to broker an end to the crisis. But so far no signs of easing of the crisis have emerged as the rivaling sides refuse to back down.

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