Trump to host Qatari Emir in bid to end Gulf crisis
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Trump to host Qatari Emir in bid to end Gulf crisis

White House wants to find solution to dispute that has seen Qatar put under virtual blockade by Saudi Arabia and UAE

This file photo taken on May 21, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump, right, shaking hands with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, during a bilateral meeting at a hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)
This file photo taken on May 21, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump, right, shaking hands with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, during a bilateral meeting at a hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday that President Donald Trump would host Qatar’s Emir at the White House later this month, hoping to end a spat that has riven America’s Gulf allies.

In a statement, the White House said the meeting with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani would take place on April 10.

“The President looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties between the United States and Qatar and to advance our common security and economic priorities.”

Trump had hoped to host a summit of Gulf leaders, hoping to ease a crisis that has seen Qatar put under virtual blockade by neighbors in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

That plan now appears to have been delayed in favor of a bilateral meeting between the US and Qatari leaders.

Trump had taken a hard line against Qatar, saying the country needed to scale back ties with Iran and stop funding extremism.

Aides — mindful of the pivotal role that the Al Udeid Air Base outside Doha plays in US Middle East operations — have since convinced him to take a more moderate approach.

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