Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince discuss Iran in call
The GCC dispute with Qatar was among topics raised, says White House
US President Donald Trump and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, spoke about Iran and Qatar, in a telephone call.
The two men discussed regional developments and opportunities for enhanced cooperation on security and economic issues, a White House statement released on Friday said.
GCC members Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar last year, accusing Doha of bankrolling Islamist extremists and fostering ties with Iran.
"The president thanked the crown prince for his close, strategic partnership and for his strong leadership in highlighting ways all Gulf Cooperation Council states can better counter Iranian destabilising activities and defeat terrorists and extremists," the White House statement said.
"The leaders agreed that all GCC states can and should do more to increase coordination with each other and with the United States to ensure the peace and prosperity of the people in the region."
The White House also said Sheikh Mohammed, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is to visit Washington, though no date has yet been announced by the US or the UAE.
"The president and the crown prince look forward to meeting at the White House to continue the discussion on how to further enhance the American-Emirati strategic partnership," Friday's statement said.
Mr Trump is to host Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on April 10 in an effort to end the diplomatic dispute with Qatar.
The White House said Mr Trump and Sheikh Mohammed "agreed on the importance of a united GCC".
Mr 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 urged him to take a more moderate approach.
Updated: April 7, 2018 11:08 AM