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Trump blames Qatar for funding terror

Trump blames Qatar for funding terror

President Donald Trump is accusing Qatar of funding terrorism at a "very high level" and says it must stop now.

Qatar hosts roughly 10,000 USA troops and serves as a major staging base for the US military's Mideast operations.

Tillerson is also calling on Qatar to address the concerns of other Arab nations. Though the president said others, too, were guilty of supporting terrorism, he said he would not name them.

On Friday, they released a joint statement listing as many as 18 individuals, including members of Qatar's royal family and a former minister as involved in "terrorist" activities.

"But I still think that the U.S. military contacts can play a good role to help resolve perhaps some of the difference since United States military particular want an end to this dispute because of the doifficulties to find a space and terrorism cooperation and so on". Trump said on Twitter, claiming his visit to Saudi Arabia was "already paying off".

Analysts say the crisis is partly an extension of a 2014 dispute, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily recalled their ambassadors over Qatari support for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

The president's sharp critique of Qatar pulled the US directly into a conflict that American diplomats had wanted the bickering parties to resolve among themselves. He warned that the Persian Gulf crisis is hindering USA efforts to fight the Islamic State group.

And Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan - who has pledged food and troops to Qatar in the face of a blockade from its neighbours - hosted Bahrain's foreign minister and urged that the dispute be resolved by the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Four Arab countries which cut ties with Qatar this week over its alleged support of terrorism on Friday designated dozens of people with alleged links to Qatar as terrorists, intensifying a row that threatens the region's stability. But its independent foreign policy has led to various tensions with its neighbors.

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The neighbors also resent Qatar's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood movement and its sponsorship of the pan-Arab satellite television network Al-Jazeera, which has given opposition figures a platform.

For Trump, the rift has emerged as a key test of his goal to unite the region around destroying IS and other extremist groups, and containing Iranian influence. The State Department had said the US learned only at the last minute about the Arab nations' plan to cut ties.

Trump's warning overshadowed an earlier declaration from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - who encouraged Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their land and sea "blockade" of Qatar. He didn't take sides. With backing from U.S. President Donald Trump, they accuse Qatar of supporting their regional arch-rival Iran as well as Islamist militants. And it is trying to galvanize the Arab world to assume greater responsibility in fighting IS, something governments won't be able to do if they're consumed with internal spats.

The group issuing sanctions on Doha "is clearly the imposition of guardianship over Qatar, which is in itself a violation of its sovereignty, and is rejected outright", the statement said. Lindsey Graham, summing up America's strategic conundrum.

The Pentagon cited no immediate effects from the instability on its operations.

But at the Pentagon, Navy Captain Jeff Davis said only long-term military planning was affected.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said calls for a change in Qatari policy from Saudi Arabia and its allies, which cut diplomatic ties with Doha this week, were unacceptable.

And a coup attempt or any cross-border action by the Saudis or Emiratis would put Trump in an uncomfortable position, given his now vocal support for the anti-Qatar action. The country called the allegations "baseless". Beyond hosting USA troops, Qatar has invested billions in the US and increased its clout in Washington along the way. The Trump Organization says the money will be handed over to the U.S. Treasury.


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