WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump’s response to the Arab blockade of Qatar (all times local):
President Donald Trump is backing Saudi Arabia and other Mideast nations in taking what he says is a “hardline” on Qatar, and said perhaps the rift will be “the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism.” He did not say how the Arab blockade might do that.
Trump says on Twitter that it was good to see that his visit to Saudi Arabia was “already paying off.” Trump met with leaders from Arab and Muslim nations there and he says Tuesday that “they said they would take a hard line on funding extremism.” He says that “all reference was pointing to Qatar.”
He tweets: “Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region have accused Qatar of funding terror groups and cozying up to Iran. Qatar denies that accusation.
Qatar is home to a large U.S. military base.
President Donald Trump says that Middle Eastern leaders complained about the Gulf state of Qatar when he demanded an end to support for radical ideology that encourages terrorism.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump did not take a position on the decision by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar but appeared to suggest it was understandable. “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!,” Trump tweeted.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia along with Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar over its alleged support for extremists. All of the countries are friendly with the U.S., putting Trump in a potentially awkward position.