Trump backs Saudi-led efforts to isolate Qatar

  • Trump backs Saudi-led efforts to isolate Qatar

Trump backs Saudi-led efforts to isolate Qatar

The decision by neighboring Arab nations to cut ties with Qatar has thrown the Middle East's air traffic into confusion, with turmoil threatening to spread into the financial sector as well. A donnybrook in a faraway land? Yes.

They accused the tiny Gulf state of harbouring extremist groups and suggested Qatari support for the agenda of Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival Iran.

The latest evidence: Two weeks ago, Qatar's state-run news agency published remarks allegedly made by the country's emir that called Iran "a regional and Islamic power that can not be ignored". Saudi Arabia's central bank advised banks in the kingdom not to trade with Qatari banks in Qatari riyals, sources said. It could suffer greatly if neighboring Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE ban Qatari planes from flying through their skies.

The United Arab Emirates had already said Qatari nationals would not be allowed to enter the country or cross its points of entry, although the practical effects on airline passengers had been unclear until now. So have other regional carriers.

The International Air Transport Association called on the countries that acted against Qatar to restore air links with the country, warning of major travel disruptions. Beyond hosting USA troops, Qatar has invested billions in the US and increased its clout in Washington along the way.

"I think there is note that his message of toughness on terror finance and extremism is being heeded by countries in the region". They have helped to provide us with an enduring commitment to regional security.

US President Donald Trump too joined in the dispute on Tuesday, saying leaders he met on a Middle East trip had warned him that Doha was funding "radical ideology" after he had demanded they take action to stop financing militant groups.

The U.S. wasn't planning a major mediation role, a State Department official said, pointing to offers from Turkey and Kuwait to intervene in what is emerging as the worst diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf in decades.

"We decided to make it clear that enough is enough", Jubeir said, also indicating that they were not interested in regime change in Qatar. That said, any disruption in the fight against Islamic State militants would be a setback.

Moreover, state-run newspaper Iran wrote June 6, "Around two weeks ago, when US President Donald Trump went to Riyadh as the head of the White House, perhaps many worldwide observers had realized that a unusual and behind-the-scenes agreement had been reached, but few may have assumed that this behind-the-scenes agreement would lead to the isolation, surrounding and sanctioning of Qatar". President Donald Trump has been doing the opposite.

Trump wrote on Twitter.

These followed Monday phone calls with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

The US leader appeared to claim credit for Gulf states isolating Doha, a move he said could "be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!" "But the U.S. still wants to see this issue de-escalated and resolved immediately, keeping with the principles that the president laid out in terms of defeating terror financing and extremism", he said.

Previous year during a visit to Saudi Arabia, Obama administration officials raised the issue of Saudi funding to build mosques in Europe and Africa that are helping to spread an ultra-conservative strain of Islam. "They are on the offensive".