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Trump offers to mediate in Qatar crisis

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US President Donald Trump offered on Thursday to mediate in the crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbours and said he believed the dispute could be solved "fairly easily." "I would be willing to be the mediator," Mr Trump told reporters at a joint press conference with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

[WASHINGTON] US President Donald Trump offered on Thursday to mediate in the crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbours and said he believed the dispute could be solved "fairly easily." "I would be willing to be the mediator," Mr Trump told reporters at a joint press conference with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

"I would be willing to do so, and I think you'd have a deal worked out very quickly," Mr Trump said. "I think it's something that's going to get solved fairly easily." Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt announced on June 5 they had cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of having ties with Shiite Iran and fundamentalist Islamist groups.

Doha denies the claims and accuses the other countries of an attack on its sovereignty.

The United States has given mixed signals on its policy to the Gulf crisis while Kuwait has emerged as a key mediator.

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Mr Trump immediately expressed staunch support for Saudi Arabia after the Arab states announced sanctions against Qatar, but some other US officials including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson adopted a more measured tone.

Riyadh and Doha are both key allies of the United States.

Mr Trump chose Saudi Arabia for his first overseas visit as president in May, two weeks before the Gulf crisis erupted.

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

AFP

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