Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

CNNPolitics: Trump willing to play mediator in ongoing Gulf dispute

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud attends a football match in Jeddah Saudi Arabia on 18 May 2017 CNNPolitics: Trump willing to play mediator in ongoing Gulf dispute
Howard Terry | 11 September, 2017, 00:32

Media outlets in Qatar and Saudi Arabia report that a phone call between the leaders of both countries has taken place.

The state-run Qatar News Agency immediately published details of the call, saying that Riyadh and Doha had agreed to send two envoys to discuss the dispute.

Trump applauded Kuwait's "critical contributions to regional stability" but also repeated an offer to mediate himself, particularly between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Qatar has denied all these charges.

The demands include shutting Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base in the emirate and downgrading Qatari diplomatic ties with Iran. Doha had rejected their 13-point list of demands and condemned them as an attempt to infringe Qatar's sovereignty.

On Friday night, the Saudi official news agency said that Ben Salman has received a phone call from the Qatar's Emir Tamim Ben Hamed in which he [Ben Hamed] expressed desire to open dialogue with the Arab four countries that are following diplomatic boycott with Qatar. The White House earlier acknowledged Trump spoke with Sheikh Tamim and Crown Prince Mohammed, as well as Abu Dhabi's powerful crown prince.

"The president also emphasised that all countries must follow through on commitments from the Riyadh Summit to defeat terrorism, cut off funding for terrorist groups, and combat extremist ideology", it said. The king's 32-year-old son and heir to the throne, who oversees Saudi energy and defense policy, visited Russian Federation in May to boost ties between the world's two top oil producers.

"I think there's a chance there could be peace", he said.

Trump plans to meet both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly later this month.

On Thursday, Trump held talks with the emir of Kuwait, who has been acting as a mediator to defuse the crisis, at the White House. In a brief press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Jiddah, Lavrov said Russian Federation supports Saudi Arabia's efforts to unite the Syrian opposition into one group.

"The contact was at the request of Qatar and its request for dialogue", SPA said, citing a Saudi foreign ministry official.

A United Arab Emirates minister late Saturday voiced support for the Saudi decision on Twitter, accusing Qatar of "wasting an opportunity" to resolve the crisis.

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