Donald Trump pressures Qatar to end 'high level' financing of terrorism

Andrew Cummings
June 10, 2017

Meanwhile, the crisis is drawing in more countries.

The crisis in the Middle East centered on Qatar took another weird turn Friday night as Qatar's ambassador to the United States, Meshal Hamad Al Thani, unleashed a series of tweets seemingly responding to statements President Donald Trump made earlier in the day.

He credited Qatar's emir with making progress in curbing financial support and expelling terrorists, but added: "He must do more, and he must do it more quickly".

But at the Pentagon, N avy Captain Jeff Davis said only long-term military planning was affected. Qatar acknowledges its links to these groups, but denies that it supports terrorism.

Dialogue is the best way to tackle the political rift in the Arab world over Qatar, two top diplomats said Saturday in Moscow.

But Mr Trump said that he, Mr Tillerson and military leaders decided during his trip to Saudi Arabia last month that a public rebuke was needed.

Saudi Arabia said it was committed to "decisive and swift action to cut off all funding sources for terrorism" in a statement carried by the state news agency SPA, while Bahrain hailed US efforts to ensure "international solidarity" on the issue. Aircraft that fly out of Qatar - including fighter jets, drones and refueling planes - can be relocated, they said. Turkey, like Qatar, has supported the Muslim Brotherhood, which led an elected government in Egypt in 2013 but was ousted from power by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sheikh al-Thani of Moscow's concern and called for talks.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia sealed shut Qatar's only land border, impacting a significant source of food imports for the peninsula nation.

However inside the White House, the Times reports, Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis are arguing that the United States can't afford Saudi Arabia and its allies rupturing with Qatar, meaning Trump's confused aggression is coming in direct opposition to his national security advisers.

"I want to call on all of the nations to stop immediately supporting terrorism, stop teaching people to kill other people, stop filling their minds with hate and intolerance".

The blockade is also impeding U.S. and other worldwide business activities in the region, Tillerson said, creating hardship for the people of Qatar and people whose livelihood depends on doing business with Qatar.

Iranian traders have exported four food shipments to Qatar via an Iran Air cargo Boeing 747, after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain boycotted Doha, a spokesman for the Iranian flag carrier has announced. The country called the allegations "baseless".

Also named were Doha-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Qatari-funded charities. Aircraft that fly out of Qatar - including fighter jets, drones and refueling planes - can be relocated to a number of other bases in the region including in Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait and Bahrain and off aircraft carriers, the officials said.

Other reports by iNewsToday