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US President Donald J. Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi  opening the World Center for Countering Extremist Thought in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 21 May 2017. EPA…

One for All?: Trump calls for unity in the Arab region after Qatar freeze out

In a series of tweets, Trump said recent trip to Middle East prompted Saudi Arabia and four other countries to break diplomatic relations with Qatar, arguing…

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At the beginning of this week, leaders of the main Arab countries, headed by Saudi Arabia, decided to break diplomatic relations with Qatar, alleging the country is financing Islamic terrorism.

And yesterday, the US President , who a month ago decided to start his first official trip abroad by visiting Ryad, took credit for prompting Saudi Arabia and four other nations to break ties with Qatar, a small petrol-rich emirate and a US strategic military partner, as reported in the NY Times. 

According to White House statement, Trump had a phone conversation with the king of Saudi Arabia in which both  "leaders discussed the critical goals of preventing the financing of terrorist organizations and eliminating the promotion of extremism by any nation in the region."

However, "the president underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability," the statement added.

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf was formed by Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

On Twitter, Trump accused Qatar for funding radical groups and "seemed optimistic about the outcome," as reported in The New York Times: “Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!,” he tweeted.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain on Monday announced the rupture of diplomatic relations with Qatar and ordered the closure of the land borders and suspended sea and air transport to the country.

They accuse the Qatar government, led by the Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, of supporting terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Qatar has denied the charges, describing them as "unjustified" and based on slander, and has assured that it "fights against terrorism and extremism,"as reported in EFE.

Yesterday, the CNN reported that US intelligence officials believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that prompted Saudi Arabia and several allies to sever relations with Qatar.

Trump hinted on Tuesday that the "hard line" with Qatar is partly a result of his tour of the region last month, which led him to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine.

"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 said on his Twitter account.

Despite Trump's comments, the White House later called on the countries involved to reduce tensions and resolve the crisis "immediately," while the State Department said that the relationship with Qatar is "solid" and that Washington "continues to cooperate" with that country.

According to the BBC, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called on Qatar to cut ties with Palestinian group Hamas in the occupied territories, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, if it wanted to end its isolation in the Gulf region.

With Syrian war going on, peace in the Middle East seems far away. And on Wednesday things got worst after a suicide bomber and armed individuals opened fire at the Iranian parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini in the capital, Tehran, causing a number of casualties. More news about the Iran attack on the BBC.

 

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