Political News

The Latest: Qatar boycotters dismiss remarks by Kuwaiti emir

Posted September 7

— The Latest on President Donald Trump and Kuwait (all times EDT):

10:45 p.m.

The four Arab countries now boycotting Qatar say they "regrets" several comments by the Kuwaiti emir, signaling the diplomatic crisis is far from over.

In a statement issued early Friday, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates say "any dialogue on meeting their demands should not be preceded by any prior conditions."

That's in regards to Kuwait's Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah saying Qatar had rejected some of the 13 demands earlier placed upon it by the boycotting nations, but was willing to negotiate.

The boycotting countries say a military intervention "has not been and will not be considered" to end the crisis. However, Qatari exiles whom analysts believe are backed by the boycotting countries have repeatedly called for a coup.

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2:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is praising Kuwait's emir for taking a leadership role in trying to end a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors.

Trump's holding a joint news conference at the White House with Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Trump applauded Kuwait's "critical contributions to regional stability." He urged the parties to the dispute — Qatar on one side and Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the other — to embrace the emir's initiative.

Trump says all the countries involved are "essential partners" in the fight against Islamic State group.

When the dispute erupted three months ago, Trump initially appeared to side with Saudi Arabia but later instructed his team to support Kuwait's mediation efforts. But the dispute has dragged on.

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12:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump has welcomed the leader of Kuwait to the White House, and is meeting with Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

Trump says he will discuss the diplomatic crisis involving Qatar and its Arab neighbors. The president also says that the two have he calls a "great relationship."

Kuwait is a staunch American ally trying to mediate a festering diplomatic crisis involving Qatar and its Arab neighbors. That crisis could have implications for the U.S. military presence in the region.

The Kuwaiti leader is thanking the United States for standing with their country when Iraq's Saddam Hussein launched an invasion.

Trump has sent conflicting signals about where he stands on the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. Trump initially appeared to side with Saudi Arabia, but then instructed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to support the Kuwaiti mediation effort.

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11 a.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting with the leader of Kuwait, a staunch U.S. ally trying to mediate a diplomatic crisis involving Qatar (KUH'-tur) and its Arab neighbors.

Trump's White House meeting with Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah comes as Trump has sent conflicting signals about where he stands on the dispute.

Trump initially appeared to side with Saudi Arabia, but then he instructed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to support the Kuwaiti mediation effort.

The dispute has dragged even after Tillerson and other U.S. diplomats have shuttled through the region to bolster the Kuwaiti initiative.

At the meeting, Trump probably will also discuss efforts to further isolate North Korea by pressing countries to stop employing North Korean guest workers. Some 6,000 North Koreans work in Kuwait.

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