News ID: 200172
Published: 0459 GMT September 09, 2017

Qatari Emir speaks to Saudi Crown Prince over [Persian] Gulf row

Qatari Emir speaks to Saudi Crown Prince over [Persian] Gulf row
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sits during an allegiance pledging ceremony in Mecca, Saudi Arabia June 21, 2017. (COURTESY/SAUDI ROYAL COURT/REUTERS)

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has called Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to express his desire to start a dialogue and discuss the demands of the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ), the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

Crown Prince Mohammed received the call on Friday, a day after US President Donald Trump offered to mediate and help resolve the dispute between Qatar and the quartet of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Trump made the announcement in a joint press conference at the White House with Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who had been mediating between Qatar and the ATQ, reported.

The Crown Prince welcomed Sheikh Tamim’s dialogue offer, SPA said, adding that the details will be announced later after Saudi Arabia concludes an understanding with its three partners.

The ATQ severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting extremist groups and of being too close to Iran, which has been accused by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) of fomenting strife in various parts of the region.

The four countries also shut down air, maritime and land links and imposed economic sanctions on Qatar.

A defiant Qatar rejected the quartet’s demands, even though these were reduced from an initial 13 to six. Doha also restored diplomatic ties with Tehran, further widening the rift.

Earlier Friday, Washington said that Trump had called the Qatari emir and stressed the importance of unity in fighting terrorism.

“The president underscored the importance of all countries following through on commitments from the Riyadh Summit to maintain unity while defeating terrorism, cutting off funding for terrorist groups, and combating extremist ideology,” the White House said in a statement.

“Trump and Sheikh Tamim also discussed the continued threat Iran poses to regional stability,” the statement said.

The ATQ said in a statement early Friday that dialogue with Qatar should not be preceded by any condition.

And while the ATQ thanked the Emir of Kuwait for his mediation efforts, it made it clear that the military option against Qatar was never on the table.

“The Quartet regrets what the Emir of Kuwait said about the mediation succeeding in preventing a military intervention. (The Quartet) stresses that the military option was never — and never will be — an option in any way.”

The ATQ also thanked President Trump for insisting that the only path to resolve this issue is to stop financing terror, and that he wouldn’t have the desire to resolve it (the issue) if that is not achieved.


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