Trump offers to personally mediate dispute between Qatar, other Arab countries

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President Donald Trump will host Kuwait Ruler Amir al-Sabah at the White House on Thursday afternoon.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said before the visit that it was aimed at getting Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations in the region to stand in "unity" with Israel and confront Iran.

"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", he said.

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Mr Trump griped to a group of NY and New Jersey politicians after his press conference with the Kuwaiti Emir, sources present told Politico.

"We know that not all of these 13 demands are acceptable", Sheikh Sabah said, referring particularly to issues that affected Qatari sovereignty. Trump applauded Kuwait's "critical contributions to regional stability".

In his comments, Trump offered a pointed reminder that terrorism financing is at the heart of the crisis. Then, he instructed Tillerson to support Kuwait's mediation, shuttling between the parties in July.

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At a White House news conference with Sheikh Sabah, Trump said he appreciated the emir's thus-far unsuccessful bid to end the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. As the dispute has dragged on, the administration has dispatched other USA envoys to bolster the 88-year-old Kuwaiti emir's initiative. "Any dialogue on meeting their demands should not be preceded by any prior conditions", they said in a statement that was an unusual, personal rebuke in the clubby world of Gulf Arab states.

During a joint press conference, Trump confirmed that the crisis began over several countries supporting the funding of terrorism over the years.

Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, of ties to Iran and to terrorist groups.

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