Donald Trump calls for 'united GCC', offers to mediate

by Antonio Miles September 11, 2017, 0:32
Donald Trump calls for 'united GCC', offers to mediate

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.

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. "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.

On Friday, talks about Qatar continued as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met senior Kuwaiti officials at the State Department to discuss regional security and Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah's mediation bid.

Trump noted that he spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia by phone on Wednesday.

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

Kuwait Emir to hold talks with Trump
Donald Trump calls for 'united GCC', offers to mediate

Trump also said the United States' good relations with both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could help bring about a peace agreement - what he called the "world's most complex and hard deal".

His comments came in a joint news conference with the Kuwaiti emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, in Washington on Thursday.

Tillerson said the US had agreed to "expedite" delivery of F-18 Super Hornet aircraft, sold to Kuwait previous year as part of a $10 billion arms deal, and both countries agreed to expand sharing of counterterrorism and border security information. "I think we have a chance of doing it".

"And there may be no solution, but it's one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on", Kushner said.

Qatar is home to a huge USA air base, where the headquarters of Centcom - the regional command that leads operations against the Islamic State group - is based. "I think the Palestinians would like to see it happen, I think the Israelis would like to see it happen".

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