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Phone call between Qatari, Saudi leaders sparks new disputes

A phone call between Saudi and Qatari leaders in an attempt to solve their diplomatic crisis has sparked new disputes as Riyadh accused Doha of distorting facts and cut off communication.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call from Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani on Friday who requested a dialogue to end the three-month rift, reports Xinhua news agency.

During the phone call, the Qatari emir said he was willing to discuss the demands of four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia for the best interests of related parties, the agency said.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, and imposed a blockade on the oil-rich Gulf nation, saying Doha supported terrorism and extremism, interfered in their internal affairs and sought closer ties with Iran.

Qatar has strongly denied the charges.

The four countries listed 13 demands, including scaling down diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base in Qatar, to end the crisis.

However, Doha’s state-run Qatar News Agency said Sheikh Tamim welcomed the proposal of Prince Mohammed to send envoys to resolve the ongoing crisis in a way that does not affect the sovereignty of the states.

In response, the official Saudi Press Agency published a statement disputing Qatar’s remarks, saying the call was at Doha’s request and announced Saudi Arabia will cut off all communication until “the authority in Qatar issued a clear statement clarifying its position in public”.

Qatar has not yet commented on Saudi Arabia’s statement.

Sheikh Tamim held a phone call with US President Donald Trump later on Friday, insisting that the Gulf diplomatic crisis should be resolved through constructive dialogue that does not affect the sovereignty of the states, according to Qatar News Agency.

During the conversation, the two leaders discussed the latest development related to the Gulf crisis through Kuwait’s mediation.

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