Kuwait mediating in Oman-UAE spy dispute
KUWAIT CITY - Kuwait is mediating in a dispute between Oman and the United Arab Emirates after Muscat charged its Gulf partner of operating a spy ring targeting the government, local media said Thursday.
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah on Wednesday shuttled between the capitals of the two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members in a bid to resolve the dispute, Al-Jarida newspaper reported.
In January, Oman announced it had dismantled an Emirati spy ring that was targeting the government and the military but the UAE immediately denied the accusation.
Muscat said the cell "was interested in the issue of the succession of Sultan Qaboos, in the absence of an heir to the throne."
Succession could pose a problem in Oman, as the 70-year-old sultan, who overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1970, does not have children.
Al-Jarida also said that Oman indirectly accused the UAE of involvement in protests that hit the sultanate in which one protester was killed and several wounded.
Sources in the Gulf confirmed that the UAE sees the challenges facing the region as greater than any rifts between GCC countries and there is a great need to have a common stance during these trying times.
They pointed out that Iran is keen to exploit any disputes between GCC countries.
"It is clear now, even for Oman and Qatar with a long 'friendly' relation with Iran, that Tehran is benefiting from the revolt atmosphere created in Bahrain," said one observer on condition of animosity.
"Omanis, who thought they are immune to Iranian incitation, are seeing the ripples of the Bahraini revolt felt in their country as a by-product," he added. "Exporting revolution is a stated aim of the Iranian regime."