Donald Trump praised Qatar’s efforts to combat “terrorism and extremism” as the US president spoke by phone with the Gulf nation’s emir on Monday.
Trump also reiterated his support for a united Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that is “focused on countering regional threats”, a White House statement said.
The emir’s conversations with the two world leaders came as the seven-month-old Gulf crisis took a turn for the worse, as the United Arab Emirates accused Qatar’s air force of intercepting commercial aircraft flying from the UAE to Bahrain. Doha denied the allegations.
The Gulf dispute began on June 5 last year as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt alleged Qatar was supporting “extremism and terrorism” in the Middle East – accusations Doha has vehemently refuted.
Trump’s comments during the phone call with Sheikh Tamim supported Doha’s denials.
“The president thanked the emir for Qatari action to counter terrorism and extremism in all forms,” the White House statement said.
“The leaders discussed areas in which the United States and Qatar can partner to bring more stability to the region, counter malign Iranian influence, and defeat terrorism.”
After the Saudi-led nations imposed the blockade against Qatar, Trump appeared to approve of the move in a series of tweets.
Erdogan, meanwhile, has been a steadfast ally of Qatar during the blockade, deploying Turkish soldiers to a military base there and stepping up economic exchanges to help ensure necessary goods reached the Gulf country.
Qatar is pursuing independent mediation to end the siege after a UN investigation said the blockade was negatively impacting the people of the region.