*Kuwaiti Emir holds talks with US president
*Trump offers to mediate Gulf dispute in White House
Last updated: September 08 2017 08:31 AM
Qatar is willing to sit down and talk to find a solution to the Gulf crisis but Doha will not accept all the 13 demands listed by the Saudi-led group and none that violates its sovereignty, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has said.
The Emir said he was hopeful many of the demands would be addressed as long as the solution did not infringe on Qatar’s independence.
Addressing a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump in Washington, the Kuwaiti leader termed the dispute among “our brothers in the GCC” as unfortunate.
He said Qatari representatives are ready to negotiate. “Though not all of the 13 demands made to Qatar have been deemed acceptable by Qatar’s government, the two side have to forget their differences,” said the Emir.
He said it was not in the interest of Qatar to remain outside the flock, “rather it should join its brothers in the GCC”.
Trump said he would be willing to mediate the dispute between Qatar and the Saudi-led bloc, noting that he has a “great relationship” with Saudi Arabia.
The US president said if he were given a chance to help negotiate between Qatar and the Saudi-led countries “you’d have a deal worked out very quickly”.
The president said he would offer to host the talks “right here in the White House.”
In the effort to cut off financing to terrorist organisations, Trump said “we will be most successful with a united GCC”.
He said the countries that have joined Saudi Arabia in the dispute – the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt – are all allies of the US. Qatar also has strong ties to America, hosting a major US military base, he said.
Earlier, the Emir, accompanied by Kuwaiti National Guard Deputy Chief Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, met Trump at the White House.
“Their talks at the Oval Office dealt with the long-standing historical relations between the two countries and the two friendly peoples, and means to develop ties and strengthen co-operation in all fields,” Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) said.
“They also discussed issues of common interest and the latest developments on the regional and international spectrum, particularly the Gulf and the Middle East.
“Both senior officials exchanged views on these topics and stressed the need for the countries involved in the Gulf feud to discard their differences, unite and support international efforts to combat terrorism,” KUNA added.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, suspending air and shipping routes with the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which is home to the region’s biggest US military base.
Siege nations say Qatar is not serious enough
Responding to the peace parleys yesterday, the four siege nations said they regretted what the Kuwaiti Emir said on the success of his mediation in preventing military intervention in the Gulf crisis.
The four countries stressed that no military option was ever considered in any case.
They said the remarks of Qatar’s foreign minister after the Kuwaiti Emir’s statement confirmed Qatar’s opposition to dialogue unless the blockade was lifted, which they said was to protect their interests.
“Qatar setting preconditions for talks confirms Doha’s lack of seriousness on issues such as dialogue, combating terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries,” they added.
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