Rapid and decisive visit by Kuwaiti Prince to Al-Riyadh


The Gulf crisis is open to all kinds of possibilities, the least dangerous of which is delaying the upcoming Gulf summit, which, ironically, will be hosted by Doha this season

 By Abdel Bari Atwan

The rapid visit that Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad, the Kuwaiti Prince, is paying to Al-Riyadh on Monday where he will be meeting with the Saudi Monarch, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, could determine the fate of the GCC and its persistence as a regional organization, or its partitioning, at least temporarily, into two or more entities.

“Naturally, the Gulf crisis will constitute the main topic of discussion between the two sides in addition to discussing means for reaching acceptable solutions that please both sides. However, in light of the escalation campaigns in the media that went beyond all the red lines and delved into the taboos, it seems that these solutions will be very difficult if not impossible.

“Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad, who is known for his wisdom, diplomacy and patience, wants to explore the Saudi point of view regarding the upcoming Gulf summit that will supposedly be held in Kuwait this upcoming December…in addition to checking whether the leaders of the boycotting countries of the state of Qatar will be participating in the summit knowing that the Qatari Prince, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, will be there.

“The leaks that were intentionally published in some Gulf newspapers and over the social communication networks indicate that the three countries, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, might refuse to take part at the summit if Sheikh Tamim is there. The same goes for the meeting of the foreign ministers that will be making the preparations for holding the summit… They [the leaks] also pointed to the possibility that Saudi Arabia and its allies might be calling for giving Qatar’s seat to Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali al-Thani whom they deem the “legitimate” prince…

“There is a very large gap between the positions of the four countries and the Qatari position on the crisis. There has been no flexibility indicating that [Qatar] is willing to make any compromises. The Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian-Gulf camp is insisting that Qatar carries out the thirteen demands to the letter. Meanwhile, Qatar is clinging to rejecting any demand that clashes with its sovereignty. The officials there are saying that they have contained the siege crisis and overcome all the repercussions…

“The next six weeks might constitute the last chance at finding solutions to the crisis. The Qatari prince started an Asian tour today that will include Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, which gives the impression that there has been no prior coordination between the Kuwaiti mediator and the Qatari party and which revokes the possibility of him carrying out any tours in the concerned Gulf capitals at least within the upcoming two weeks… One can say that this is not a rosy picture at all. The Gulf crisis is open to all kinds of possibilities, the least dangerous of which is delaying the upcoming Gulf summit and the Gulf Cup soccer tournament, which, ironically, will be hosted by Doha this season. Only God knows best.”