Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim and Donald Trump to meet in April

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani invited by US President Donald Trump for meeting in the US capital.

Emir Al Thani Trump
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani has agreed to meet with Trump in April [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

The Qatari government has announced that Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will attend an April meeting in Washington, DC, with US President Donald Trump.

The two leaders spoke by phone on Wednesday about regional developments and opportunities to “enhance the American-Qatari partnership on a range of security and economic issues”, according to a White House press release.

It was during the phone conversation that Trump extended the invitation.

“The leaders agreed on the importance of regional cooperation and a united Gulf Cooperation Council to mitigate regional threats and ensure the region’s economic prosperity,” the White House release said.

Qatar has faced a blockade from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt since June, alleging Qatari support for “extremist” groups.

Qatar has strenuously denied the allegations.

The Saudi-led blockade came after a regional meeting between Trump, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Other members of the US government, including Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, have voiced support for Qatar, which is host to the US military’s central base of command for operations in the Middle East.

Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, DC, said that Trump has been calling Gulf leaders in recent days to discuss confronting the threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

Jordan noted that other Gulf leaders will be present in Washington in April, but efforts to hold a summit to end the crisis are still “up in the air”.