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Qatar ruler phones Saudi crown prince about starting talks

Qatar’s ruler phoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to express interest in talks to resolve a three-month-old diplomatic crisis, Saudi state media said early Saturday.

The crown prince “welcomed this desire,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, adding “details will be announced after Saudi Arabia reaches an agreement with UAE and Bahrain and Egypt”, the Arab bloc that cut ties with Qatar in June.

The phone call by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani​, came after US President Donald Trump offered on Thursday to mediate in the crisis, saying he believed the dispute could be solved “fairly easily.”

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt announced on June 5 they had cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of bankrolling Islamist extremist groups and of being too close to Iran.

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