U.S. steps up Qatar crisis diplomacy, lauds Kuwait's mediation

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The US President briefed H H Emir on the results of his communication with HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as the discussions held in this regard with the Emir of Kuwait H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, within the framework of the generous mediation led by His Highness.

"I think we have a chance of doing it", he said.

In a phone conversation on August 30, Trump told the Saudi monarch that a diplomatic resolution was necessary in order to fulfill a commitment Washington and its regional allies had made to stay united while fighting terrorism.

Kuwait is a staunch American ally trying to mediate a festering diplomatic crisis involving Qatar and its Arab neighbors.

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Saudi Arabia and its Arab satellite states of Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing the region. He noted that Qatar had been presented with a list of 13 demands by the other countries and was willing to discuss them. "I think it's something that's going to get solved fairly easily", Trump said. Although Qatar has rejected some of them out of hand, Sheikh Sabah said negotiations were possible.

During a friendly meeting with the NY and New Jersey congressional delegations about a $30 billion tunnel project, Trump was in a good mood - most likely a result of his deal with Democrats reached on Wednesday to suspend the federal debt ceiling and fund the government for three months, as well as provide Hurricane Harvey relief aid. I think the Palestinians would like to see it happen.

He said both sides wanted peace and that the United States had "tremendous talent" working on the problem.

In Kuwait, media reports on Thursday focused on the emir's visit to Washington as a sign of the strong relationship the two countries have, including when a US -led coalition expelled occupying Iraqi forces from the small nation during the 1991 Gulf War. Qatar hosts a USA military base critical to the anti-IS fight in Iraq and Syria.