Monday, 20 November, 2017

Trump says will discuss military issues, Qatar with Kuwait's emir

Kuwait Emir to hold talks with Trump The Latest: Senate Democrat has questions for Trump Jr.
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He has said that the Emir of Kuwait is now helping America in the Gulf and that "things are going well". "I was telling the emir before that if I can help between UAE and Saudi Arabia ... if I can help mediate between Qatar and, in particular, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, I would be willing to do so".

Trump initially appeared to side with Saudi Arabia, but then instructed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to support the Kuwaiti mediation effort.

However, Qatari exiles whom analysts believe are backed by the boycotting countries have repeatedly called for a coup in Qatar, while Saudi columnists at state-backed newspapers have repeatedly suggested an invasion to overthrow Qatar's ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The US launched air strikes in April at a Syrian airbase after President Bashar al-Assad's government allegedly unleashed sarin gas on Khan Shaykhun in eastern Syria, killing 80.

At the meeting, Trump probably will also discuss efforts to further isolate North Korea by pressing countries to stop employing North Korean guest workers.

Trump also said the United States' good relations with both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could help bring about a peace agreement - what he called the "world's most complex and hard deal".

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"We have great relationships with all of them right now; maybe better than we've ever had", Mr Trump said.

The U.S. president said he appreciated Kuwait's role as a mediator "very much", but said he, too, would be "willing to be the mediator". He did not mention his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who last month led a USA delegation to the region to discuss reviving the peace process.

The crisis erupted June 5 when Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut ties to Qatar over allegations it funds extremists and is too cozy with Iran. "The United States and Kuwait both recognize the important of GCC unity to meet the challenges of the region that we all face together, not the least of which is the threats from Iran".

Qatar is home to a huge USA air base, where the headquarters of Centcom - the regional command that leads operations against the Islamic State group - is based.

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