President Donald Trump stressed to the emir of Qatar the importance of unity in fighting terrorism, the White House said on Friday, a day after the US president offered to mediate the Gulf country’s dispute with its Arab neighbors.
In a telephone call Thursday with the emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, “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.
They also discussed the continued threat Iran poses to regional stability, it said.
The four anti-terror Arab States, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, had rejected on Thursday that Qatar sets preconditions for a dialogue on the implementation of the 13 demands.
The Arab Quartet’s response came after Qatari Foreign Minister announced that his country rejects dialogue unless the four countries lift the boycott measures, which were taken to protect their interests legally and politically.
On Thursday, Kuwait’s Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah said from Washington that Qatar was ready to negotiate 13 demands set forth by the three Gulf countries and Egypt.
However, an anti-terror Quartet statement said later that the comments of Qatar’s foreign minister in setting preconditions for dialogue confirms Doha’s lack of seriousness in dialogue, combating and financing terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of countries.
On the other hand, Kuwait’s foreign ministry acknowledged the Quartet’s efforts to end the dispute with Qatar while confirming its role as mediator.
The ministry said Kuwait would continue its attempts to “heal the rift and end the dispute” and stressed that its mediation had helped to prevent an escalation in the crisis.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, after meetings with senior Kuwaiti officials, said the US and Kuwait would take new steps to resolve a three-month-old dispute that pits a Saudi-led coalition, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, against Qatar over its alleged support for terrorist groups and Iran.
Kuwait has been serving as mediator, with US backing, but without results thus far.
“The United States and Kuwait both recognize the important of GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] unity, to meet the challenges of the region that we all face together,” Tillerson said.