Alwaght- Ongoing Persian Gulf tensions have taken a new turn after a Saudi official insulted a Kuwaiti minister.
In a post on his official Twitter account, Saudi royal court adviser Turki Al Asheikh attacked on Monday Kuwait’s minister of commerce and industry, Khaled al-Roudhan, calling him a “mercenary under the umbrella of a position.”
Kuwait responded by warning about potential damage to bilateral ties in a meeting with the Saudi ambassador.
Al Asheikh’s Twitter post came soon after Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim received al-Roudhan in his office in Doha as part of a Kuwaiti delegation.
The Kuwaitis thanked Sheikh Tamim for his help in ending a two-year suspension of Kuwait by global soccer authority FIFA. Al Asheikh -- also head of Saudi Arabia’s sport authority -- had previously claimed credit for influencing the decision after he met FIFA chief Gianni Infantino in Moscow.
“This mercenary won’t hurt the historic Saudi relationship with its brother Kuwait,” Al Asheikh said in his tweet. “What he said doesn’t represent anything but himself.”
The insult triggered an uproar in Kuwait, where it was raised in parliament, putting pressure on the government to respond.
In subsequent tweets on Wednesday, Al Asheikh justified his choice of words, saying “we don’t flatter in defense of the nation” and asking anyone who expects “flowery speech” to stop following his account.
Kuwait has been trying in vain to mediate the crisis between Qatar and four Arab regimes namely Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
The diplomatic spat reflects the sensitivities Kuwait faces as it attempts to mediate the nearly eight-month dispute that’s divided the Persian Gulf countries into entrenched camps.
Last summer, the four regimes abruptly severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.
Qatar, for its part, vehemently denies the allegations, describing attempts to isolate it by its fellow Arab states as a violation of international law.
On June 22, the Saudi-led block, issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera TV, limiting ties with Iran, and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country as a prerequisite to lifting the blockade.
Qatar rejected all the demands, denouncing them as attempts to violate its sovereignty.