World

US, Kuwait working 
to end Qatar blockade

DOHA Gulf Arab states piled pressure on Qatar yesterday as US President Donald Trump and Kuwait's emir worked to end a row, and resolve what Qataris say amounts to a blockade of their country.

With Mr Trump offering to help resolve the crisis, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cut postal ties to Qatar and close Saudi ally Bahrain reiterated a demand that Doha distance itself from regional foe Iran. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-foe Iran - charges Qatar says are baseless.

US MILITARY BASE

Mr Trump initially took sides with the Saudi-led group before apparently being nudged into a more even-handed approach when US defence officials renewed praise of Doha, mindful of the major US military base hosted by Qatar that serves, in part, as a launchpad for strikes on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants.

In his second intervention in the dispute in as many days, Mr Trump urged action against terrorism in a call with the Qatari emir, a White House statement said. It added that Mr Trump, in a later call with Abu Dhabi's crown prince, called for unity among Gulf Arabs, "but never at the expense of eliminating funding for radical extremism or defeating terrorism". - REUTERS

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