Trump Offers to Mediate Talks on Qatar Crisis

11 September, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Emir holds telephone talks with US President

President Donald Trump is praising Kuwait's emir for taking a leadership role in trying to end a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors. Qatar's only land border with Saudi Arabia has only been blocked as a result. He previously has described how Arab leaders criticized Qatar for such terror financing during a regional summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Trump chose Saudi Arabia for his first overseas visit as president in May, two weeks before the Gulf crisis erupted. Even Trump himself pointed this out in a tweet during the conflict's early days. "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"

Trump has sent conflicting signals about where he stands on the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. Trump initially appeared to side with Saudi Arabia, but then instructed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to support the Kuwaiti mediation effort.

"I would be willing to be the mediator", Trump told reporters at a joint press conference with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. He noted that Qatar had been presented with a list of 13 demands by the other countries and was willing to discuss them.

Trump also touched on peace talks between Israel and Palestine, saying there is a "chance" for a Middle East peace settlement, long one of the most elusive goals of USA diplomacy.

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Among the demands are that Qatar downgrade its ties with Iran, shut down Al Jazeera news network, and close a Turkish military base in the Arab country.

On the demands, he said that "any matters that affect sovereignty are unacceptable to us", underlining that Kuwait guarantees it would put pressure on Qatar amid efforts to prevent its exit from the GCC.

During the phone call, they discussed the latest developments related to the Gulf crisis in light of Kuwait's efforts to resolve it through diplomatic channels and through dialogue between all parties to ensure the security and stability of the region.

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