KUWAIT CITY: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held talks with top officials in Kuwait on Sunday in a bid to bolster the emirate’s attempts to mediate in the Gulf crisis.
Le Drian met with Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Kuwait’s foreign minister, state news agency KUNA said, for talks on a regional rift which has seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain sever all ties with Qatar.
Le Drian, who is due in the United Arab Emirates, stopped in Qatar and Saudi Arabia at the start of his two-day Gulf tour on Saturday.
The French foreign minister has supported Kuwait as a mediator in the Gulf crisis, which he said should be resolved “by the Gulf countries themselves”. “France does not want to substitute the mediator,” Le Drian said in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. “It wants to be a facilitator by joining efforts of other countries”. Le Drian’s visit comes after a four-day mediation mission by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, which ended on Thursday with no announcement of progress towards defusing mounting tensions in the Gulf.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2017