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Trump speaks to Qatar emir on Gulf unity, terrorism fight

US President Donald Trump. (AFP)
WASHINGTON: 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 a telephone call Thursday with Qatari Emir Sheikh 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.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ), comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE, maintained a tough line.
The ATQ cut ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of bankrolling extremist groups and of being too close to Iran.
The four countries also shut down air, maritime and land links and imposed economic sanctions on Qatar.
In a statement early Friday, the Saudi-led bloc questioned the Kuwaiti emir’s statement that Qatar would be willing to accept their 13 demands.
“Dialogue on the implementation of the demands should not be preceded by any conditions,” they said in the joint statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The bloc also voiced “regret” about the Kuwaiti ruler’s statement “on the success of mediation in stopping military intervention.”
Instead, the ATQ stressed that “the military option has not been and will not be considered” under any circumstances.
“Setting preconditions for dialogue confirms Qatar’s lack of seriousness in dialogue, combating and financing terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of countries,” it said.