US President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to nod in agreement with the actions of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and UAE to cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar.
In a series of tweets, he said, “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”
The four countries had moved to cut diplomatic ties and block air, road and maritime connections with Qatar after accusing it of ‘financing, adopting and sheltering extremists.’ The countries also alleged that Qatar supports terror groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood to the Islamic State and Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Qatar has vehemently dismissed the allegations.
The US president had last week visited Saudi Arabia where he addressed leaders of 50 Muslim countries and exhorted them to root out terrorism. Trump’s remarks come at a delicate moment when Kuwait’s leader goes to Riyadh to mediate regarding the biggest split in the GCC in decades. Kuwait and Oman have not joined the rest of the GCC in cutting off ties with Qatar.
It is not clear whether Trump’s meetings with the Arab leaders during his visit to Riyadh had any sort of impact on the severing of ties with Qatar. Qatar hosts 8,000 U.S. military personnel at al Udeid, the largest of the country’s air bases in the Middle East and a staging ground for U.S.-led strikes on the Islamic State militant group that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq.