Trump to host Qatari leader next week

Trump to host Qatari leader next week
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE will meet with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar next week at the White House as the Trump administration tries to encourage several Middle Eastern nations to reestablish diplomatic ties with the country.

The White House said in a statement Thursday that Trump "looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties between the United States and Qatar and to advance our common security and economic priorities" with Al Thani during the meeting Tuesday.

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The meeting's announcement comes just days after reports emerged that the White House postponed a meeting with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council amid diplomatic tensions surrounding Qatar.

The summit was reportedly postponed until the fall in part because CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Progressive nonprofits sue White House over missing notes from Putin meeting Progressive nonprofits sue White House over missing notes from Putin meeting MORE has not been confirmed as Trump's next secretary of State.

Several countries in the region including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar last June, accusing the country's government of supporting extremist groups.

On Monday, Trump spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman on the phone, during which Trump "emphasized the importance of resolving the Gulf dispute and restoring a united Gulf Cooperation Council to counter Iranian malign influence and defeat terrorists and extremists,” according to a White House readout of the call.

Trump also spoke with Al Thani on the phone Tuesday about “the obstacles to restoring unity in the Gulf Cooperation Council," the White House said.

“The President and the Emir agreed on the importance of regional unity to address security threats and to ensure prosperity of the people in the region,” the White House said this week.