Monday, 23 October, 2017

Trump speaks with leaders of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar

President Donald Trump and the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah shake hands at a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington Thursday Sept. 7 2017 Kuwait Emir to hold talks with Trump
Howard Terry | 11 September, 2017, 00:28

Trump, welcoming Kuwait's Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah to the White House, said Kuwait was helping the United States in the Gulf and things were "coming along nicely".

The Saudi-led bloc has also imposed sanctions against the tiny Persian Gulf country, including restrictions on Qatari aircraft using their airspace.

The crisis erupted June 5 when Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut ties to Qatar over allegations it funds extremists and is too cozy with Iran.

US President Donald Trump has offered to mediate in the three-month diplomatic dispute between Qatar and its neighbours, saying "we will be most successful [against terrorism] with a united" Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It also features a giant, golden "Trump" logo along the side.

Last week, Trump called on Saudi King Salman and "all the parties in the Qatar dispute" to find a diplomatic solution to the regional standoff.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, after meetings with senior Kuwaiti officials, said the US and Kuwait would take new steps to resolve a 3-month-old dispute that pits a Saudi-led coalition, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, against Qatar over its alleged support for terrorist groups and Iran.

"Every responsible nation must work to strip these [terror] groups of their territory, their financing, and the false allure of their evil ideology", Trump told a joint news conference with visiting Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah on September 7.

The U.S. president said he appreciated Kuwait's role as a mediator "very much", but said he, too, would be "willing to be the mediator". Although Qatar has rejected some of them out of hand, Sheikh Sabah said negotiations were possible. "I think it's something that's going to get solved fairly easily", Trump said.

Later Friday, the White House said Trump had spoken separately with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. I think the Palestinians would like to see it happen.

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