President Donald Trump spoke to Qatar’s emir today, offering US mediation in a crisis that has split Washington’s allies and pushed regional powers toward confrontation. “The President offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary,” the White House said. Trump spoke to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani as Qatar faces an economic and diplomatic blockade from Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar’s neighbors are angry at Doha’s backing for jihadist groups, its willingness to engage with Iran, and its patronage of Al Jazeera, which often criticizes Gulf governments. The call came a day after Trump appeared to back Saudi Arabia strong-arming the emirate, which is home to 10,000 US troops.
Qatar confirmed the call, saying Trump “expressed readiness to find a solution to the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, and stressed his keenness that the Gulf remains stable.” Trump aides also stressed the need for Qatar and “all countries in the region working together to prevent the financing of terrorist organizations and stop the promotion of extremist ideology.” As speculation swirled that Saudi Arabia could attempt to overthrow the Qatari government, Turkey’s parliament agreed to deploy troops to the emirate in its defense.