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Qatar crisis: Trump meets Qatari emir, predicts quick end to standoff

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US president Donald Trump struck an optimistic tone at resolving the Gulf dispute in his meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim in New York at the UN General Assembly.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim

"We are right now in a situation where we're trying to solve a problem in the Middle East and I think we'll get it solved," Trump said, describing Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani as a long-time friend.

"I have a very strong feeling that it will be solved pretty quickly."

For more than 100 days Qatar has been subject to a Saudi-led boycott that shuttered Qatar's only land border, denied air space to its national airline and suspended maritime links.

    UN General Assembly, New York: Trump's debut speech; spoke his mind clearly | Oneindia News

    Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut all ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of bankrolling Islamist extremists and being too close to Iran.

    The White House has been sympathetic to allegations that Doha has been too cozy with proscribed groups, but has been wary that Gulf disunity has only created an opening for Iran to expand its influence in the region.

    The emir welcomed Trump's involvement. "As you said, President, we have a problem with our neighbours and your interference will help a lot and I'm sure we can find a solution for this problem."

    Earlier, he addressed the UN General Assembly, accusing his neighbours of terrorism and made a plea for dialogue.

    "I stand here while my country and my people are subjected to a continuing and unjust blockade imposed since June 5th by neighbouring countries," he said.

    "It seems that those who planned and implemented it had envisaged that their move would cause a shocking and direct impact that will bring the State of Qatar to its knees and to capitulate to a total tutelage to be imposed on it," he said.

    Since June 5, the Gulf has been hit by its biggest diplomatic crisis in years after Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region with its support for Islamist groups.

    PTI

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