Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Russia's Lavrov urges dialogue to solve Gulf crisis

Russia's Lavrov urges dialogue to solve Gulf crisis

US 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 Trump offered to mediate the Gulf country's dispute with its Arab neighbors.

In what appeared to be a possible breakthrough, Saudi state news agency SPA initially issued a statement confirming Friday's phone conversation, saying that Sheikh Tamim had called Mohammed bin Salman and "expressed his desire" to discuss the demands of the four blockading countries.

"What was published on the Qatar News Agency is a continuation of the distortion of the Qatari authority of the facts", SPA reported citing the Saudi official.

Sheikh Tamim welcomed the proposal of Prince Mohammed during the call "to assign two envoys to resolve controversial issues in a way that does not affect the sovereignty of the states", QNA said. Qatar was willing to discuss any request by the siege countries in the context of a constructive dialogue based on respecting global law and the sovereignty of countries.

The Saudis, along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and other countries in the region, have broken all commercial and diplomatic ties with Qatar over its alleged financing of terrorism and close ties to regional rival Iran.

According to the report, Trump stepped into the fray in the past week, offering to mediate in the Qatari-Saudi conflict and vowing a quick victory.

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Qatar, which is a USA ally and hosts a large American military facility, has denied the allegations.

The demands include shutting Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base in the emirate and downgrading Qatari diplomatic ties with Iran.

A new, stricter U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution drafted after the latest nuclear test envisages a ban on the hiring and payment of North Korean laborers, whose wages are seen as a source of income that Pyongyang is accused of exploiting to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

It added that the talks would kick off once Riyadh has "concluded an understanding" with its allies which broke off diplomatic contact with Doha in June.

The White House said Trump spoke Thursday with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Today, Kuwait hosts some 13,500 American troops, many at Camp Arifjan south of Kuwait City, which also is home to the forward command of U.S. Army Central.

Trump plans to meet both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly later this month.

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