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Trump, Abu Dhabi crown prince agree importance of united GCC in call

Trump, Abu Dhabi crown prince agree importance of united GCC in call

The region has been split since last June when Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE accused Qatar of supporting terror groups

US President Donald Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed agreed on the importance of a united Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a telephone call on Friday, the White house said.

The six-nation group has been split since last June when the UAE, alongside Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, accused, Qatar of supporting terrorist groups and closed diplomatic, trade and transport links.

There has been little sign of progress since then, with the UAE recently complaining to the United Nations’ aviation agency over alleged interceptions of its civilian aircraft near Bahrain by Qatari fighter jets.

Read: UAE complains to UN over alleged Qatar aircraft interceptions

“The leaders agreed that all GCC states can and should do more to increase coordination with each other and with the United States to ensure the peace and prosperity of the people in the region,” the White House said.

They also agreed on the “importance of a united GCC” and discussed ways the group’s member countries can be counter “Iranian destabilising activities and defeat terrorists and extremists” on top of other regional developments and opportunities.

The crown prince is due to travel to the US for a face-to-face meeting with Trump following a three-week visit to the country by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Read: Saudi crown prince meets billionaires Bezos and Gates

Trump is also set to host Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on April 10, Qatar News Agency said on Thursday.

The US administration of Trump is seeking an end to the regional rift, which it believes has complicated efforts against Iran.

The White House wants to host the leaders of the GCC, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, at a summit later this year but recently pushed back a potential May date amid a lack of progress in the Qatar dispute.

Read: US postpones planned Trump summit with Gulf leaders

The leaders of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have previously stated they want Qatar to sever ties with Iran and shut broadcaster Al Jazeera as their conditions to end the boycott.

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