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Trump Administration Considering Arab-US Summit to Solve Qatar Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Washington – US President Donald Trump is considering several scenarios to solve the Qatar crisis following three weeks of severed diplomatic and economic relations with several Arab countries who accused Doha of funding terrorism and fomenting unrest.

Trump might call for a Camp David-style summit to address growing tensions similar to the summit held between former President Barack Obama and Gulf leaders, according to several sources.

Fox News reported that Trump is studying several options for the summit to defuse tensions among long-established US allies in the Gulf and renew his call for those nations to confront the “crisis of Islamic extremism.

“It’s a Camp David moment. We’ve seen nothing like this in 40 years, and now the president wants to follow through,” a senior White House official told Fox News.

A White House official told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the US administration wants to solve this diplomatic issue and work with the countries on combating terrorism and extremism in the region. He reiterated the importance of defeating ISIS for establishing stability.

The official said that the US administration is working on establishing what was achieved during Trump’s visit to Riyadh last month. He added that several options are being considered including an Arab summit, and currently the officials are studying the form and timing of this summit.

Regarding the 13 demands presented by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain, the official said that the White House will include them in the discussions, reiterating that they will be the starting point for talks between the parties.

AFP reported another White House official saying President Trump is keen on combating terrorist organizations in the region and cutting their funding in general and not just those relating to Qatar.

There is a need to alienate and denounce such groups like Muslim Brotherhood for the stability of the Middle East, said the official.

UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba to US told the press on Friday that the measures against Qatar “are there to stay until there is a long-term solution to the issue.”

He suggested the actions to pressure Qatar will remain economic and diplomatic. Otaiba says “there is no military element to this whatsoever.”

The US has offered to help mediate, but Otaiba said Kuwait will take the lead, adding that this is an “Arab issue that requires an Arab solution.”

While the US administration is considering several solutions, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Arab nations is a “family issue” that the nations should work out among themselves.

Spicer didn’t comment on the specific demands that Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations have placed on Qatar, but announced that Washington is willing to play a “facilitating role” in the discussion.

In related news, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is following the situation with Qatar “with deep concern” and hopes the countries involved resolve the situation through dialogue.

UN spokeswoman Eri Kaneko said Friday that the UN is ready to assist in mediating if requested.

She said, “any resolution or basis for discussion should be consistent with international law including human rights and international humanitarian law as well as the UN Charter as all countries concerned are UN member states.”