Trump speaks to Qatar emir on Gulf unity, terrorism fight: White House

Saudi's Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salma
Bandar al-Jaloud  AFP

Saudi's Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salma Credit Bandar al-Jaloud AFP

Saudi and Qatari leaders held direct talks for the first time since the start of the Persian Gulf crisis three months ago, a breakthrough later undermined by a dispute over the details of the phone call.

"What was published by Qatar News Agency is continuation of Qatari authority's distortion of facts", SPA said, adding that any dialogue was now suspended.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke by with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Friday when they discussed the dispute, state media from both countries reported.

Saudi's news agency carried similar remarks, saying Sheikh Tamim had called the crown prince to "express his desire" to discuss the boycotting country's demands.

But Riyadh later suspended the dialogue, accusing Doha of distorting facts by wrongly implying that Saudi Arabia had initiated the outreach.

The United States has given mixed signals on its policy to the Gulf crisis while Kuwait has emerged as a key mediator. "We'll come together. Very quickly, I think, we'll have something solved", Trump said, at a White House news conference.

That's why the United States see the unity among the Arab partners as vital to promoting regional stability and countering the threat of Iran.

He said that Qatar is now in a more hard position, adding: "Instead of our confused brother trying to drive a wedge between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi through its naive media, it would be wise for him to treat his crisis with his surroundings".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar over its ties with Islamist groups and relations with Iran.

Qatar, which hosts a U.S. military base critical to the effort to defeat IS in Iraq and Syria, has long denied funding extremists.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups - a charge it denies.

Director of the Information Office at the Foreign Ministry H E Ambassador Ahmed bin Saeed Al Rumaihi told the Qatar News Agency (QNA) yesterday that the statement from the quartet which alleged that Qatar interferes in internal affairs of other countries and finances terrorism is baseless.

Qatar is home to the largest American air base in the Middle East and is the center of military operations purportedly against Daesh Takfiris in Syria and Iraq.

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