Trump urges Arab unity in call to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman

Photo: AFP

US President Donald Trump has called the king of Saudi Arabia to urge Gulf unity amid an escalating dispute over Qatar’s alleged support for militants, the BBC reorts.

Earlier, he said the Saudis’ move to isolate Qatar could mark the “beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism”.

Several Gulf countries cut travel and embassy links with Qatar on Monday.

Qatar strongly denies supporting radical Islamism. The rift has affected oil prices, travel and shipping, and has raised fears of food shortages.

The emir of Kuwait is mediating in the dispute and the president of Turkey has also offered to help, saying isolation and sanctions will not resolve the crisis.

Mr Trump had earlier claimed credit for the pressure placed on Qatar, saying his recent visit to Saudi Arabia was “already paying off”.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday morning, Mr Trump accused Qatar of funding terrorism, saying: “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!”

In his phone call to King Salman, he was quoted by Reuters as saying: “It’s important that the Gulf be united for peace and security in the region,”

Separately, the Pentagon thanked Qatar for hosting the largest US air force base in the Middle East.

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