Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah has voiced optimism regarding the efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir to solve the Gulf crisis, saying he believed the dispute would be settled before the GCC leaders’ summit in December.
Speaking to the official Kuwaiti news agency KUNA, al-Jarallah said Kuwait, the host, has not yet sent invitations to GCC leaders for the summit, adding that it is customary to send invitations but it is “too early to discuss these invitations and send them”.
Meanwhile, Director of the Qatar Government Communications Office HE Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani has affirmed that Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup was not up for discussion or negotiation.
In a press statement, Sheikh Saif said that UAE’s demand that Qatar give up the World Cup 2022 shows “their illegal blockade is founded on petty jealousy, not real concerns”.
“Their weak attempts to tie the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to their illegal blockade show their desperation to justify their inhumane action,” Sheikh Saif noted, adding there has never been a legitimate reason for the illegal blockade of Qatar, and “this is further proof of that”. He said this demand “is a clear attempt to undermine our independence”.
“The World Cup, like our sovereignty, is not up for discussion or negotiation.”
Sheikh Saif asserted that Qatar would host the first World Cup in the Middle East and its positive benefits and impact would extend beyond Qatar and throughout the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the country on June 5, accusing Doha of supporting militants. Qatar has dismissed all such charges as baseless.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, had said on Tuesday that Qatar should not host the 2022 World Cup unless it changes its policies.
Dubai’s senior security official, Dhahi Khalfan, had suggested on Twitter that Qatar should give up the tournament to end the crisis. He later said he was expressing his personal view.
Arab League backs Kuwaiti efforts
QNA adds from Cairo: Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Qatar is a member of the Arab League and it has all responsibilities, duties and rights of a member.
Gheit said the Arab League has not taken a position – for or against – any party in the Gulf crisis.
At the level of the general secretariat of the Arab League, he said: “We expressed support for the mediation of Kuwait to end this dispute,” noting that the position of the Arab League remains not to intervene.
The secretary general said the crisis has not been discussed within the council of delegates or the ministerial council, but only the support for the efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir.
He expressed hope that Kuwait achieves a breakthrough in solving the crisis.