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Middle East

Qatari, Saudi leaders have a phone call, start new dispute

By Associated Press 9/9/2017
 (COMBO) Saudi's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [L]; and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Photo: / AFP / Fayez Nureldin
(COMBO) Saudi's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [L]; and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Photo: / AFP / Fayez Nureldin
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Leaders in Qatar and Saudi Arabia spoke by telephone early Saturday in their first high-level contact since an Arab diplomatic crisis engulfed Doha three months ago, but now even terms of what they discussed have created a new dispute.

That even this small step toward a resolution creates new tension shows how deeply the boycott of Qatar has cut across the typically clubby politics of the Gulf Arab states.

The call also comes after Kuwait’s emir, who so far has been unsuccessful in mediating the dispute, met Thursday in the White House with President Donald Trump, who himself offered to arbitrate.

Both governments acknowledged a call between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, next in line to the kingdom’s throne, and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

After the call, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said Crown Prince Mohammed would talk to Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates — the other Arab nations boycotting Qatar — and then release details.

The state-run Qatar News Agency immediately published details of the call, saying that Riyadh and Doha had agreed to send two envoys to discuss the dispute.

Qatar said that call came after Trump personally spoke with Sheikh Tamim. The White House earlier acknowledged Trump spoke with Sheikh Tamim and Crown Prince Mohammed, as well as Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince.

The Saudi and Qatari leaders “stressed the need to resolve this crisis by sitting down to the dialogue to ensure the unity and stability” of Gulf nations, the Qatar News Agency account read.

Saudi Arabia reacted angrily to the Qatari statement, issuing a second message saying Doha’s statement did not have “any relevance to truth.”

“This proves that the authority in Qatar is not serious in dialogue and continues its previous policies,” the SPA said. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declares that any dialogue or communication with the authority in Qatar shall be suspended until a clear statement explaining its position is made in public.”

The Qatar crisis began June 5, with boycotting nations cutting off Doha’s land, sea and air routes over its alleged support of extremists and close ties to Iran. Qatar long has denied funding extremists and recently restored full diplomatic relations with Iran, with whom it shares a massive offshore natural gas field.


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Berg | 9/9/2017
For decades Qatar has tried to undermine Saudi Arabia (and other) kingdoms. People critisize Saudi Arabia for spreading Islamism but the Qataris have done much more damage by spreading the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey Egypt Jordan and many many other countries. The Muslem brotherhood is more dangerous than Wahabism because while most people know what Wahabism is the Muslim Brotherhood pretend to be "moderates"
Basur | 9/9/2017
I wonder how many people know that the dirty qatari sheikhs support the despotic turkish and iranan regimes anti kurdish policies while Saudi arabia supports kurdish independence?
Diamond | 9/9/2017
The Saudis and Emaraties can thank Turkey for this crises, the Turks made it a 100 times worse by saving Qatar. Without Turkish support Qatar would've given in in a matrer of days, not even Iran dared to help Qatar before Turkey did
PC | 9/9/2017
Really can't understand the stupidity of GCC, they KNOW that both Iran and Turkey are out to get them and the only real way to hurt and stop these two powers is through Kurds. If Turkey or Iran had half the opportunity the Saudi's and Israeli's have they would've taken it decade's ago. The Saudis have the funds and the Israelis the military capability, between them more than enough lobbying power, they can bring both Turkey and Iran to their knees in a matter of a few years through Kurds.
Kurdo | 9/9/2017
@Berg, entire Islam is fake, just read who supported Mohammed to destroy Christianity in the middleeast. And then they even killed Imam Ali to create more havoc. Islam is and have always been a tool. Muslim brotherhood was created by the british. When arabs are muslims, i get it they are stupid. But what about Kurds, iranians and turks?

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