US President Donald Trump urged an end to regional divisions in the Persian Gulf during a telephone call with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the White House said Wednesday. 

Trump "encouraged the Amir to take steps toward resolving the Gulf rift in order to work together to defeat the virus, minimize its economic impact, and focus on critical regional issues," spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

Trump also thanked al-Thani for his efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict, and the two leaders agreed on the importance of the Taliban "reducing violence and continuing discussions on prisoner releases," Deere added.

In Qatar, the Health Ministry reported two new deaths from the coronavirus and 518 new infections on Tuesday. It said the overall death toll stands at nine, infections jumped to 6,533 and recovered cases is at 614.

Qatar has been at odds with its neighbors led by Saudi Arabia for nearly three years. Political rival Riyadh has sought to isolate the tiny emirate physically, economically and diplomatically from the rest of the world, splitting the Gulf Cooperation Council over allegations that Qatar supports terrorism, charges strongly rejected by Doha.

Saudi Arabia has been joined by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in its push against Doha.