By Arab News
By Joyce Karam
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday congratulated Saudi Arabia’s newly appointed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with whom he discussed the diplomatic row between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors, including Riyadh.
“The president and the crown prince committed to close cooperation to advance our shared goals of security, stability, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond,” the White House said in a statement about their telephone talks.
“The two leaders discussed the priority of cutting off all support for terrorists and extremists, as well as how to resolve the ongoing dispute with Qatar,” the statement added.
Trump and the crown prince additionally “discussed efforts to achieve a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and ways to further deepen economic cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
Prince Mohammed bin Salman was the first Arab leader to officially meet with Trump at the White House in March and then also met him in Riyadh last month.
Earlier this month, Riyadh and several of its allies including Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE, cut ties with Qatar over accusations that Doha supports extremist groups, including some linked to Iran — a claim Tehran denies.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Saudi Arabia and its allies have drawn up a list of demands to be presented to Qatar.
“We hope the list of demands will soon be presented to Qatar and will be reasonable and actionable,” he said.
“We support the Kuwaiti mediation effort and look forward to this matter moving toward a resolution,” added Tillerson, who has been tasked by Trump to oversee an end to the standoff.