[Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (right) in a file photo]
Jeddah: Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, is visiting Jeddah on Wednesday as Kuwait-led mediation efforts are taking shape in the crisis of severing ties with Qatar.
Qatar's foreign minister said on Tuesday Doha was ready for mediation efforts after the Arab world's biggest powers severed ties with it, adding that Qatar's ruler had delayed a speech in order to give Kuwait a chance to ease regional tensions, according to Reuters.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move on Monday. Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives joined later and transport links were shut down.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani spoke by telephone overnight with his counterpart in Kuwait, which has maintained diplomatic ties with Qatar, and decided to postpone a speech to the Qatari people as requested.
Qatar wants to give Kuwait's Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah the ability to "proceed and communicate with the parties to the crisis and to try to contain the issue," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said in comments to Qatar-based Al Jazeera television.
Kuwait's emir had an important role in a previous Gulf rift in 2014 and Qatar's Sheikh Tamim "regards him as a parent and respects his desire to postpone any speech or step until there is a clearer picture of the crisis," Al Jazeera quoted the foreign minister as saying.
Sheikh Mohammed told the channel that the measures taken against Qatar had an "unprecedented impact" on its citizens and on family relations in the Gulf Arab region, but said Doha will not take counter measures.
Qatar "believes such differences between sister countries must be resolved through dialogue."
Tensions rose in the Gulf soon after US president Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia when a series of controversial comments attributed to Qatar’s emir, appeared in local media creating a row that led to the blocking of Doha-aligned news websites in some neighboring states.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s alleged comments, carried by the official state news agency QNA, apparently saw him endorse Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah — strongly diverging from the stance of Qatar’s Gulf neighbors.
Doha claimed the report was the result of a hacking attack — but its Gulf neighbors responded nonetheless, particularly after the same comments were repeated in more than one language, on more than one outlet and at various times of the day in a manner which makes the story true and the hacking seem less likely.