DOHA: President Donald Trump called Qatar´s emir Wednesday and offered US help as efforts grew to resolve a damaging feud between the emirate and its Gulf neighbours.
Trump´s call to Qatari ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, a key US ally, came as a senior Emirati official told AFP that Gulf Arab states were not seeking regime change in Doha.
“The president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary,” Trump´s office said after the call.
A Qatari official said Trump in the call had “expressed readiness to find a solution to the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, and stressed his keenness that the Gulf remains stable.”
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain announced on Monday they were cutting diplomatic ties and closing air, sea and land links with Qatar, giving Qataris within their borders two weeks to leave.
The four countries have suspended all flights to and from Qatar, pulled their ambassadors from Doha and ordered Qatari diplomats to leave.
Riyadh and its allies accuse Qatar of supporting extremist groups and of serving the interests of regional arch-rival Iran, claims Doha has strongly rejected.
The dispute has sparked the worst diplomatic crisis in the Arab world in years and raised fears it will cause further instability in an already-volatile region.
The United Arab Emirates´ state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash on Wednesday accused Qatar of being “the main champion of extremism and terrorism in the region”.
– ´Not about regime change´ –
But he also said measures taken against Qatar this week by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab nations were not aimed at seeking new leadership in Doha.
“This is not about regime change — this is about change of policy, change of approach,” Gargash told AFP in Dubai.
Kuwait is leading efforts to find a mediated solution.
Its emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, on Wednesday arrived in Doha, where he was received by his Qatari counterpart, Kuwait´s official KUNA news agency said.
Earlier on Wednesday, he met Dubai´s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and other senior UAE officials in Dubai, after talks the day before with King Salman in Saudi Arabia.