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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Trump says Qatar crisis will be resolved quickly

US president speaking during meeting with Qatari emir in New York

Under pressure to demonstrate it is cracking down on the funding of terrorism, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani met with US President Donald Trump last year. Evan Vucci / AP
Under pressure to demonstrate it is cracking down on the funding of terrorism, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani met with US President Donald Trump last year. Evan Vucci / AP

US president Donald Trump struck an optimistic tone at resolving the Gulf dispute in his meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim in New York at the UN General Assembly.

"We will get it solved,” Mr Trump told his guest in their first meeting since the dispute with Qatar started 107 days ago over its support of extremist and terrorist groups.

The US President welcomed the Qatari Emir saying: “We have been friends a long time...we have known each other for a long time."

"We are right now in a situation where we’re trying to solve a problem in the Middle East and I think we’ll get it solved. I have a very strong feeling that it will be solved pretty quickly”.

Mr Trump denied reports that he pressured Saudi Arabia against pursuing a military option against Qatar. He described his meetings in Saudi Arabia in May “as an epic and very important, really very historic meeting and now we want to make the most of it by getting things settled".

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The Qatari Emir focused on the relationship between the United States of America and Qatar, calling it “strong” and “historic” and praised US mediation in the dispute. According to the White House pool report, Mr Trump and the Emir of Qatar did not shake hands.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, National Security Adviser HR McMaster and advisers Jared Kushner and Dina Powell attended the meeting.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani speaks during the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Mary Altaffer / AP Photo
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani speaks during the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

The Qatari leader earlier gave a defiant address to the General Assembly. Officials from the four nations made no response to the speech.

The Emir gave no hint of a reconciliation amid the standoff with the Arab quartet over his country's support of terrorism and the spread of extremism.