Emir of Qatar to meet Trump Tuesday amid boycott and scandal

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By Middle East Affairs

Amid a boycott and mounting scandals, the emir of Qatar will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House tomorrow, reports the Associated Press.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last week that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani would meet with Trump on April 10.

She said at the time that Trump looked forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties, AP reported, and “advance our common security and economic priorities.”

Qatar, a small country rich in fuel, is working to persevere through a boycott by its Gulf Arab neighbors Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, which began the blockade in June 2017 after accusing Qatar of having ties to extremist groups. Qatar has denied all accusations.

A top fundraiser for Trump also had beef with Qatar last month when it filed a lawsuit against the state and its lobbyists for allegedly hacking he and his wife’s emails.

Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates agreed Friday to work toward better relations among Gulf nations.

Trump and bin Zayed spoke by telephone and agreed that members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council “can and should do more to increase coordination with each other and with the United States,” the White House said in a statement.

Trump even postponed earlier this week a summit with Gulf Arab leaders until September when it had been planned for May. The White House excused itself with a full diplomatic calendar but also said the “lack of progress in negotiations to end the dispute” was a major reason, according to Reuters.

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