x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 November 2017

Saudi king and Trump hold second phone call in one week

King Salman bin Abdulaziz held the call ahead of the US president's summit with the emir of Kuwait on Thursday

US president Donald Trump (L) talks with Saudi King Salman after a welcome ceremony at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport. The Associated Press
US president Donald Trump (L) talks with Saudi King Salman after a welcome ceremony at the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport. The Associated Press

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz held a second phone call with Donald Trump in a week, ahead of the US president's summit with Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah in Washington on Thursday.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that King Salman called Mr Trump to discuss “a range of bilateral, regional and global developments”. While not providing more details on the nature of the discussions, it reiterated Riyadh’s commitment to deepening the strategic relation with Washington.

A White House official did not immediately respond to The National on what specific issues the two leaders addressed.

Read more: Kuwait's Emir to meet Trump, Qatar breakthrough unlikely

The call is the second in one week, after a first one last Wednesday when Mr Trump “urged that all parties to the Qatar dispute find a diplomatic resolution that follows through on their commitments made at the Riyadh Summit, to maintain unity while fighting terrorism”.

The Qatar dispute is now in its fourth month and will be on the table as Mr Trump hosts the Emir of Kuwait in the White House on Thursday. Kuwait’s role has been instrumental in mediating the disagreement between its Gulf neighbours, and the Emir held phone calls with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Egypt prior to his arrival to Washington.

Kuwait also dispatched its envoys earlier last month to deliver letters to Gulf capitals in its attempt to solve the worst diplomatic crisis since the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) 35 years ago.