Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates agreed on Friday to push for unity among Gulf nations, the White House said, amid a bitter standoff between Qatar and other USA allies in the region. Qatar denies this and Washington wants to mediate a truce.
Saudi Arabia and others have continued squeezing the country diplomatically and financially with a partial blockade, arguing those steps were wholly insufficient to address their long list of demands on Qatar, which included shutting down Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera.
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After Paris , he will head to Madrid , before travelling home ahead of the next Arab League summit meeting, on April 15 in Riyadh. The kingdom also revealed that it would enter short films at the Cannes film festival next month for the first time.
Drawing a line under a spat that called into question the future of a key USA air base in the Gulf State, Trump hosted Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in the Oval Office. We discussed strategic and regional issues including the grave situation in Syria, and as for the GCC rift, we both agreed it should be resolved by dialogue as it's doing unnecessary harm and impeding the fight against terrorism.
Mattis also stressed that Washington was seeking to cooperate with Qatar in order to achieve peace in the Middle East on several fronts, such as combating terrorism, defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and undermining Iran's activities in the region. "There are a lot of good things happening". "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!" he said last June.
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The package of missiles planned to be sold to Qatar contains about 5,000 Advance Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS), including 5,000 high explosive warheads. The new equipment will enable Qatar to upgrade its air-to-ground rockets into precision-guided rockets.
The two leaders agreed in a telephone call that members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council "can and should do more to increase coordination with each other and with the United States", the White House said in a statement. He says Trump's role "is very vital to end the crisis in the region".
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It later added that there were "dead and wounded" in the strike, without giving exact casualty numbers. The European Union also said evidence pointed to the use of chemical weapons by Assad's forces.
Trump's support for the Saudi-led coalition was complicated by the fact that Qatar is a long-time US ally, hosts a major US Air Force base, and that the State Department avoided taking sides. The country hosts some 10,000 US troops at al-Udeid Air Base, and has been building new facilities for USA troops there at Qatari expense in a bid to make it more comfortable for the Americans.