US President Donald Trump had a telephonic conversation with Saudi King Salman, during which he demanded for a quick end to the ongoing crisis in the region.
Trump wants to restore unity of two of its allies in the Middle East and present a united front against Iran. Trump’s tone in the April 2 call with Salman was described by one official as “forceful.” It was not clear what the King’s response was.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have all severed ties with Qatar after accusing it of supporting terrorism. However, Qatar has dismissed all the claims.
“The president’s focus has always been on Iran, and its nuclear and missile programs that threaten all the Gulf states, as well as Israel, and he stressed that the feud the Saudis and Emirates are having with Qatar makes no sense,” the official said.
Trump also had a conversation with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohommed bin Zayed, and in a White House meeting on Tuesday with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamid al-Thani, where he said his ties with Qatar were working “extremely well.”
An administration spokeswoman would not expand on an earlier White House description of the call with the Saudi king. A spokeswoman for the Saudi embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Another official said that Trump has asked the GCC to find a resolution to the crisis within three weeks, in part because of a looming decision on Iran.
Trump has set a May 12 deadline for European powers to commit to improving the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, or he will pull Washington out of the deal.
A written White House readout of Trump’s phone call with Salman said the president “emphasized the importance of resolving the Gulf dispute and restoring a united Gulf Cooperation Council to counter Iranian malign influence and defeat terrorists and extremists.”
The readout did not recount Trump’s tough tone or describe a U.S. deadline for resolving the dispute.