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Trump adviser Kushner and team heading to Qatar, Saudi Arabia

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Washington : White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his team will travel to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks aimed at resolving the dispute between the neighbouring Gulf countries, according to media reports in the United States.
A senior official in the administration of President Donald Trump that Kushner is to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in the Saudi city of Neom, and the emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in that country in the coming days.
Kushner is eager to persuade the Saudi and Qatari leaders to reconcile and reach an agreement on a number of issues, Axios reported, citing US officials.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar in 2017, accusing Doha of “supporting terrorism” and issuing a list of 13 demands.
Qatar rejected the allegations and the demands and accused the blockading countries of attacking its sovereignty.
US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien earlier this month stated that resolving the Gulf crisis was a priority for the administration and that there was a possibility it could happen before Trump leaves office in January.
“A resolution to the blockade appears to be in sight,” Sigurd Neubauer, author of ‘The Gulf Region and Israel’ and an expert on Middle East politics. “We don’t know if it will be before Trump leaves office or when Biden comes in. But it’s really not if, but when.”
A senior Saudi official last month signalled that there had been some progress in attempts to resolve the more than three-year dispute, saying that Riyadh was “committed to finding a solution”.
“We continue to be willing to engage with our Qatari brothers, and we hope that they are as committed to that engagement,” said Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
“But we do need to address the legitimate security concerns of the quartet and I think there is a path toward that” with a solution “in the relatively near future,” he said.

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