(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY, Jan 8: In the midst of the US-led diplomacy in Afghanistan to foster reconciliation between Kabul and the Taleban which includes diplomatic visits by US delegations to Gulf capitals, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has instructed American diplomats in the Gulf to work towards the settlement of the Gulf crisis that has been ongoing for a year-and-a-half between Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on one hand, and Qatar on the other hand, reports Al-Rai daily.
Since then, a number of Gulf officials have sought to exclude dialogue and compromise in statements that appear to be an implicit response to the US diplomatic effort. But Pompeo did not back down, telling the concerned American diplomats that the Gulf settlement 'is at the heart of the national interests of the United States in the Middle East.'
'From the point of view of the Defense Secretary, it is almost impossible to confront Iran, reach its oil exports and isolate them diplomatically in the region, without rearming the Gulf.' US sources confirmed that Pompeo 'does not care if chemistry returns among the leaders of the allied countries or not, and that what matters to Washington is that the interests of Gulf states rise above any other interest.'
Sources added Pompeo, who will conclude his tour of the region by visiting Kuwait early this month, has been working closely with the Kuwaiti authorities since the arrival of President Donald Trump at the White House in early 2017. He believes 'Kuwait was a great asset among the conflicting Gulf parties. With this asset, only Kuwait can play the mediation role, but the guarantee of commitment of parties in the dispute is the term of any settlement'.
According to the sources, Gulf reconciliation is fundamental to US foreign policy for two main reasons: first is to combat Iran's destabilizing activities in the region, and second is the Afghan reconciliation, an inseparable reconciliation of Iran's file.