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Donald Trump says Arab leaders complained about Qatar during his West Asia tour

Seven countries, led by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, have severed ties with Qatars, accusing it of backing terrorism and opening up a rift among some of the most powerful Arab states.

world Updated: Jun 06, 2017 21:12 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press
Donald Trump,Gulf crisis,Qatar
US President Donald Trump announces his air traffic control initiative at the White House in Washington, US. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump says that West Asian 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.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced Monday they would cut diplomatic ties. Yemen’s internationally backed government, which has lost the capital and large portions of the war-torn country, also cut relations with Qatar, as did the Maldives and one of conflict-ridden Libya’s competing governments.

Trump met with Qatar’s emir during the president’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month.

“We are friends, we’ve been friends now for a long time, haven’t we?” Trump asked at the meeting. “Our relationship is extremely good.”

The biggest diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf since the 1991 US-led war against Iraq pits several nations against Qatar, which is home to some 10,000 American troops and a major US military base. Airlines suspended flights and residents nervous about the peninsula’s lone land border closing cleaned out grocery store shelves.

Kuwait is trying to mediate the Gulf crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbours, Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said In an interview with Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera.

Meanwhile, the Philippines announced it will temporarily suspend the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said the ban took effect Tuesday, but there is no plan yet to repatriate the more than 200,000 Filipino workers in Qatar. More than 1 million Filipinos reside and work in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.

First Published: Jun 06, 2017 19:02 IST