Trump hails Kuwait mediation on Qatar; Arab states react

12 September, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Call for GCC dialogue as Trump speaks to Qatar Emir

The visit is in response to an invitation extended by US President Donald Trump in February, shortly after his inauguration, Shaikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah told Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).

"I think you'd have a deal worked out very quickly".

However, Qatari exiles whom analysts believe are backed by the boycotting countries have repeatedly called for a coup in Qatar, while Saudi columnists at state-backed newspapers have repeatedly suggested an invasion to overthrow Qatar's ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

In a phone conversation on August 30, Trump told the Saudi monarch that a diplomatic resolution was necessary in order to fulfill a commitment Washington and its regional allies had made to stay united while fighting terrorism. "If I can help mediate between Qatar and in particular the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia, I would be willing to do so", he said. Even Trump himself pointed this out in a tweet during the conflict's early days.

On June 22, the Saudi-led group issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera, limiting ties with Iran, and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country as a prerequisite to lifting the blockade.

Mr Trump first appeared to support Saudi Arabia in the crisis, but later came around to supporting Mr Tillerson's diplomatic efforts.

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This might explain the sudden push to isolate Doha, under the pretext that it has close ties with Iran as well as the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

President Donald Trump, joined by the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday Sept., 7, 2017.

Kuwait is a staunch American ally trying to mediate a festering diplomatic crisis involving Qatar and its Arab neighbors.

At the meeting, Trump probably will also discuss efforts to further isolate North Korea by pressing countries to stop employing North Korean guest workers.

"We have great relationships with all of them right now; maybe better than we've ever had", Mr Trump said.

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