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Kuwaiti emir heads to US for talks with with Trump

KUWAITI EMIR HEADS TO US FOR TALKS WITH WITH TRUMP

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah set out for Washington on Friday for his first official visit to the U.S. since President Donald Trump assumed office early this year.

According to Kuwait's official KUNA news agency, the emir is scheduled to meet with Trump on Sept. 7 at the White House.

The news agency did not provide further details regarding the emir's itinerary.

It is expected that the two leaders will discuss the ongoing inter-Arab diplomatic crisis pitting the small Gulf state of Qatar against a four-nation bloc of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia.

In early June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all collectively severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism in the region.

The four states also imposed a blockade on Qatar, going on to demand that Doha meet a long list of demands -- including one for the closure of pan-Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera -- or face additional sanctions.

Doha has until now rejected the demands, describing the attempts to isolate it as a violation of both international law and its national sovereignty.

A key U.S. ally in the region and home to one of the largest U.S. military bases in the Middle East, Qatar fiercely denies allegations that it supports terrorism.

Kuwait, meanwhile, has attempted to mediate the crisis, dispatching a number of high-level emissaries to relay messages between Qatar and the states arrayed against it.

These mediation efforts, however, have so far failed to produce any breakthroughs and relations between Doha and the four-nation bloc remain suspended.

The Kuwaiti emir is being accompanied on his trip by Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Hamad Al Sabah; Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid al-Jarrah Al Sabah; Finance Minister Anas Khalid al-Saleh; and National Guard Deputy Chairman Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah.

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