Tuesday, March 19, 2019
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Trump to hold bilateral meetings with Qatar, Saudi, UAE: reports

Several GCC leaders scheduled to visit Washington, DC in March and April to discuss ongoing crisis.

bilateral meetings

Several leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump over the next couple of months, a US official has said.

In a bid by Washington to resolve the ongoing Gulf diplomatic crisis, leaders of the region will conduct bilateral visits with Trump, Reuters news agency reported on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani are scheduled to meet Trump in March and April.

According to the official quoted by Reuters, talks will revolve around the possibility of establishing a GCC summit later this year under Washington's auspices, as well as the role of Iran in the region.

The dispute in the Gulf began in June 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a land, sea and air blockade after accusing it of supporting "terrorism".

Qatar has strongly rejected the allegations as "baseless".

The US and the EU have repeatedly called on the countries to engage in dialogue.

Earlier this month, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that his country would be willing to participate in a US-GCC summit next spring, provided that the blockading countries' motivation is based on real will and not coercion.

The last US-GCC summit was held in May 2017, in the Saudi capital Riyadh, just before the crisis unfolded.

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