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Trump Says Middle East Nations Must Confront Iran, Terrorism


U.S. -- U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah at the White House in Washington, September 7 2017

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump says nations in the Middle East must confront parties “such as the Iranian regime” as part of efforts to defeat “murderous” terror groups and radical militias in the region.

“Every responsible nation must work to strip these [terror] groups of their territory, their financing, and the false allure of their evil ideology,” Trump told a joint news conference with visiting Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah on September 7.

"It also means confronting those such as the Iranian regime who support terror groups and radical militias,” he added.

Trump and the emir addressed a variety of issues facing the Middle East in response to reporters’ questions.

Trump said he would be willing to act as a mediator in the bitter diplomatic dispute between Qatar and at least four Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia, a role so far taken up by Kuwait.

The U.S. president said he appreciated Kuwait’s role as a mediator “very much,” but said he, too, would be “willing to be the mediator.”

“If I can help between U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia, where I have a very great relationship…If I can help mediate between Qatar and in particular the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia, I would be willing to do so,” he said.

Trump added that he believed the crisis could be solved "fairly easily."

The Saudis, along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and other countries in the region, have broken all commercial and diplomatic ties with Qatar over its alleged financing of terrorism and close ties to regional rival Iran.

Qatar, which is a U.S. ally and hosts a large American military facility, has denied the allegations.

The Saudi-led Arab countries, also close U.S. allies, have presented Qatar with a list of 13 demands to restore relations, which the Qataris have so far rejected.

The emir said he believed Qatar was willing to sit down and discuss the demands and that he was optimistic a “solution will come in the very near future.”

Trump also said the United States’ good relations with both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could help bring about a peace agreement -- what he called the “world’s most complex and difficult deal.”

It [a peace accord] is an event that’s just never taken place,” he said. “I think we have a chance of doing it. I think the Palestinians would like to see it happen. I think the Israelis would like it to happen.”

“I think there’s a chance there could be peace,” acknowledging he says that “a little bit reluctantly.”

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