United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed credit for several Arab nations cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar, reported Reuters. In a series of tweets, Trump claimed that his trip to West Asia was “already paying off” as regional leaders had followed through with their promise of taking a “hardline” against militant groups.
“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!”, he tweeted. “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!” he added.
Trump claimed that the leaders he met on his West Asia trip had warned him that Qatar was funding “radical ideology” after he demanded they take action to stop funding militant groups in the region.
Kuwaiti leader to meet Saudi King
Trump’s tweets came about even as the leader of Kuwait was to visit Saudi Arabia to try to mediate the dispute. Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah will meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday, after global oil prices were affected, travel plans hit and businesses in the region thrown into confusion following the decision of 7 countries to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Kuwait has offered to mediate and help resolve the hostile situation against Doha. Following this, Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah is set to meet King Salman to resolve the crisis. However, the Kuwaiti ruler asked Qatar’s emir to steer clear from making any decisions that could worsen the situation and focus on easing tensions, Kuwait state news agency Kuna reported.
On Monday, an Iranian official had accused Trump of triggering the decision, made by seven countries, to isolate Qatar, AP reported.
Trump had in May attended a summit of leaders in Saudi Arabia, where he denounced Shiite Iran for “destabilising interventions” in West Asian countries, where the House of Saud and Tehran find themselves on opposite sides of the tussle for influence.
Following this, a number of banks in the region began to step back from business dealings with Qatar. Saudi Arabia’s central bank advised banks in the kingdom not to trade with Qatari banks in Qatari riyals, Reuters said quoting sources. Oil prices also fell, and finally, several Arab states cut diplomatic relations with Qatar over the latter’s alleged support for Islamist militants and Iran.
How Arab nations isolated Qatar
On Monday, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Maldives, Libya and Yemen cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar, and suspended flights to and from the country. The UAE asked Qatari citizens to return home within 14 days.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority revoked the licence of Qatar Airways and ordered its offices to be closed within 48 hours.