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Kushner in Qatar in bid to end Gulf rift

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is expected to tackle the Gulf crisis and push for progress toward ending the spat during a visit to Qatar Wednesday.

The official Qatar News Agency reports that Kushner meets with the country’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, saying they discussed “developments in the region.”

Few details have been made public about Kushner’s trip, which could be his last chance to press diplomatic issues in a region that has been a focal point for the outgoing Trump administration.

Analysts expect Kushner will focus on efforts to resolve the three-year-long Gulf crisis, which has pitted a Saudi-led alliance against Qatar, suggesting it could result in limited confidence-building measures.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner gives thumbs up as he walks back to the West Wing after a television interview at the White House, Oct. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Riyadh, along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, cut all ties with Qatar in June 2017 over allegations that Doha was too close to Iran and backed radical Islamists. Qatar denies the charges.

The boycotting countries have closed their airspace, land borders and sea channels to Qataris and vehicles registered there.

That has forced Qatar Airways aircraft to fly over Iran, Riyadh’s arch-rival and long-time adversary of Washington, paying significant overflight fees to Tehran in the process.

AFP

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