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Kuwaiti emir, US defense secretary talk

Monitoring Desk

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah on Tuesday received U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis only hours before a major Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit kicked off in Kuwait City, the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

The emir’s meeting with Mattis was also attended by Kuwaiti Crown Prince Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and Prime Minister Jaber al-Mubarak al-Hamad al-Sabah.

Mattis arrived in Kuwait on Sunday before setting out for Pakistan the following day, from which he quickly returned to Kuwait in advance of the GCC summit, according to KUNA.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Mattis and the emir exchanged greetings and best wishes, the news agency reported without disclosing any additional details.

Many of the region’s political actors hope the two-day GCC summit will lead to a resolution of the months-long crisis currently plaguing inter-Arab relations.

In June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain all abruptly severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

The four-nation bloc, led by Riyadh, also threatened to impose additional sanctions on Qatar if it failed to accept a long list of demands, including the closure of Doha-based news broadcaster Al Jazeera.

Qatar strenuously denies the accusations, describing the ongoing attempts to isolate it as a violation of international law and its national sovereignty.

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