WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would be willing to step in and mediate in an ongoing dispute between Qatar and neighboring Arab states.
“If I can help mediate between Qatar and, in particular, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, I would be willing to do so, and I think you would have a deal worked out very quickly,” Trump said at a joint news conference with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Trump said the Qatar crisis stems from massive funding of terrorism by certain countries.
The Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) — comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE — have accused Qatar of supporting Iran and terror groups, charges Qatar’s leaders deny.
Sheikh Sabah said he received a letter from Qatar that expressed willingness to discuss a list of 13 demands from its neighbors.
“We know that not all of these 13 demands are acceptable,” Sheikh Sabah said, referring specifically to issues that affected Qatari sovereignty. “A great part of them will be resolved,” he said.
Trump said he believes there is a “chance” for a Middle East peace settlement, long one of the most elusive goals of US diplomacy. “I think we have a chance of doing it,” he told reporters.
Trump acknowledged that previous administrations had come close to, yet never reached, a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. But he said: “We’re going to give it our best.”
The president said both sides wanted peace and that the US had “tremendous talent” working on the problem.