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Trump offers to mediate talks to end Qatar row

September 8, 2017 at 1:38 am

US President Donald Trump on 29 October 2016 [Gage Skidmore/Flickr]

President Donald Trump offered Thursday to mediate between Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbors to help end a months-long diplomatic row.

“While I do appreciate and respect the mediation, I would be willing to be the mediator,” he said during a joint press conference with Kuwaiti Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

“And I think you’d have a deal worked out very quickly. I think it’s something that’s going to get solved fairly easily.”

The inter-Arab diplomatic crisis began on 5 June when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain collectively severed diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism in the region.

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Doha denies the allegations, describing attempts to diplomatically isolate it as a violation of international law and its national sovereignty.

Kuwait has played a central role in attempting to resolve the crisis, dispatching a number of high-level emissaries to relay messages between Qatar and the states arrayed against it.

“What is important is that we have stopped any military action,” Sabah said in remarks translated from Arabic.

Trump said he appreciates Kuwait’s efforts, adding that if its efforts are unable to end the dispute, he will mediate at the White House.

“I think we’ll have something solved,” he said.

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The Saudi-led bloc has presented Qatar with a list of 13 demands that its says Doha must satisfy in order for relations to return to normal.

Sabah said he was confident that “a great part of them will be resolved” but said not all of the demands “are acceptable”.

“Anything that affects sovereignty we would not accept,” he said before adding that he is hopeful that a resolution will be achieved “in the very near future, God willing”.


In a call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman last week, Trump urged all parties to find a solution to the crisis.

Shortly after the crisis broke out in June, Trump pointed the finger to Qatar for financing terrorism, publicly backing Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations in their effort to isolate the country.