MIDDLE EAST

Trump speaks with leaders of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar

President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on May 23, 2017. (AFP)

US President Donald Trump spoke separately on Friday with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the White House said in a statement.

Trump told them that unity among Washington's Arab partners was essential to promoting regional stability and countering the threat of Iran, the statement said.

"The president also emphasized that all countries must follow through on commitments from the Riyadh Summit to defeat terrorism, cut off funding for terrorist groups, and combat extremist ideology," it said.

Trump also spoke to Qatar's al-Thani on Thursday.

Trump told a news conference on Thursday that he would be willing to step in and mediate a dispute among the US-allied Arab states and Qatar, and said he thought a deal could come quickly.

President Donald Trump said that 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 during a White House news conference with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

Also read: Saudi King Salman to visit White House early next year

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 United States had “tremendous talent” working on the problem.

Melania Trump looks back as President Trump waves upon his departure from the White House to embark on his trip to the Middle East and Europe, in Washington, May 19, 2017. (Reuters)

Kushner delegation

He did not mention his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who last month led a US delegation to the region to discuss reviving the peace process.

Those talks were greeted with pessimism, although officials hope that better relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel can help propel a regional solution.

Also read: Kushner’s Mideast peace push met with Palestinian skepticism

Palestinian leaders have grown frustrated with the White House after initially holding out hope that Trump could bring a fresh approach to peace efforts despite his pledges of staunch support for Israel.

But Palestinian leaders note the White House has not even clearly committed to a two-state solution to the conflict, in contrast to longstanding US policy.

(With Reuters)

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Last Update: Saturday, 9 September 2017 KSA 02:55 - GMT 23:55
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