First Published: 2017-09-20

Trump expects Gulf dispute to be resolved quickly
Qatari emir renews call for "unconditional dialogue" to end political crisis pitting Qatar against four Arab states.
Middle East Online

By Yara Bayoumy and Jeff Mason - UNITED NATIONS

Sheikh Tamim is seeking Trump's intervention to solve the crisis

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Tuesday renewed a call for "unconditional dialogue" to end a political crisis pitting Qatar against four Arab states while US President Donald Trump said he expected the dispute to be resolved quickly.

Speaking from the podium of the 193-member United Nations General Assembly, Sheikh Tamim renewed the call "for an unconditional dialogue based on mutual respect for sovereignty".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, suspending air and shipping routes with the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which is home to the region’s biggest US military base.

The nations say Doha supports regional foe Iran and Islamists, charges Qatar’s leaders deny. Kuwait has been trying to mediate the dispute and the United States has taken an increasingly robust role in trying to bring an end to the crisis, but as yet to no avail.

Trump and Sheikh Tamim later held a meeting in which the emir was careful to emphasize the strong Qatar-US relationship after Trump appeared to be more sympathetic to the Saudi position at the start of the crisis. Qatar hosts Al Udeid air base, the largest US military facility in the Middle East.

"As you said, Mr. President, we have a problem with our neighbors," Tamim said, adding that with Trump's intervention, "hopefully we can find a solution for this problem."

Trump, who has said he would be willing to mediate the worst dispute in decades among the US-allied Arab states and Qatar, said he had a "very strong feeling" the dispute would be solved "pretty quickly".

In a speech severely criticising the four Arab states' conduct during the dispute, the emir said the countries were inflicting damage on the "war on terror".

"The countries which imposed the blockade on the State of Qatar interfere in the internal affairs of many countries, and accuse all those who oppose them domestically and abroad with terrorism. By doing that they are inflicting damage on the war on terror," Sheikh Tamim said in his speech to the annual gathering of world leaders.

"We have refused to yield to dictations by pressure and siege."

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia suspended any dialogue with Qatar, accusing it of “distorting facts”, just after a report of a phone call between the leaders of both countries suggested a breakthrough in the Gulf dispute.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke by the telephone with Qatar’s Emir in the first publicly reported contact between the two leaders since the start of the crisis.

 

Iraq dismisses US call for Iranian-backed militias to 'go home'

Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to step down

IS ‘executed’ 116 suspected of Syria regime collaboration

Israel arrests 51 Palestinians for ‘terror-related’ crimes

Greening the Camps brings food and hope to refugees

UNICEF says 1,100 children malnourished in Syria’s Ghouta

UN says Yemen children in desperate need of aid

Orthodox Jews block Jerusalem entrance in protest

Six terror suspects arrested in Morocco

EU announces 106 million euros in aid for Sudan

French judges to rule on whether 'Jihad' is acceptable name

Saudi Aramco chief confirms IPO despite doubts

Lack of accountability hinders governing in Morocco, analysts say

Sudan editor convicted after Bashirs accused of graft

Russia’s Lavrov urges Iraq-Kurd dialogue

Kurds to arrest 11 Iraqis in response to similar Baghdad move

Car bomb attack kills 9 in south Yemen military base

Rouhani boasts about Iran’s greatness in region

Iraq unrest highlights long-standing political divisions

Bahrain temporarily frees female activist

Egypt court sentences 11 people to death for 'terrorism'

Israel police arrest 15 over anti Jewish-Arab dating campaign

Tillerson woos Gulf allies to curb Iran influence

Abadi, Sadr meet in Jordan

No clear US strategy in Syria after Raqqa liberation

Tillerson pushes to undercut Iran at landmark Saudi, Iraq meeting

Gulf share values plummet

US-backed forces capture key Syria oil field

More than half of Austrians vote for anti-immigration party

Washington sees potential Hezbollah threat in the US

UN ends Libya talks with no progress made

Cairo killing sparks security concerns among Copts

Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike