Trump asks Gulf states to stay united to fight terrorism

The American president on Tuesday held a phone call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in which they discussed fight against terror financing and extremism, according a White House statement.

The US president's public backing for the unprecedented Arab action came despite Qatar's role as a Washington ally that hosts the main US military base for operations in the Middle East.

Trump on Tuesday hinted that the "hard line" with Qatar was partly a result of his tour of the region in May. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism".

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, who studies the Gulf as a fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute, said the Saudis might take Trump's tweets as a "green light" for further escalation.

If Qatar is economically weakened or decides to retaliate against Trump's 140-character allegations, it has leverage.

Kuwait's emir has also been seeking to mediate, meeting Saudi's king on Tuesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump sent mixed messages on the issue on June 6. "It's important that the Gulf be united for peace and security in the region", the senior official told Reuters.

In an unexpected development, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and Libya severed their diplomatic links with Qatar on Monday.

She said the association's members have been advised to go about their daily activities normally and to pray for the well-being of the country.

The decision aims to ensure regional stability, coordinate the politics of Arab countries and end the crises in the region, government spokesman Mohammad Momani said.

In 2014 Qatar promised to cease sheltering Islamist leaders and tempered the tone of its powerful TV channel Al-Jazeera, accused of being a mouthpiece for Islamists in the Arab world.

Doha is a major global hub and all flights going through the Qatari capital had to be rerouted.

While the US military has said it wouldn't change its posture at Qatar's Al-Udeid Air Base, Mr. Trump posted a series of tweets calling into question his commitment to the peninsular nation. But Gulf Arab neighbours and Egypt have always been irked by its maverick stances and support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which they regard as a political enemy.

Still, the official says the working to address the conflict and ensure the US and its Arab partners remain united in their efforts to right extremism and terrorism.

Ordinary Qataris were loading up on supplies in supermarkets, fearing shortages.

In a Reuters interview, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said it would be very complex to disentangle the "very diverse" business ties between Qatar and its neighbors but suggested this might be necessary.

"During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. There are laws that prevent terror financing in our country". FBI officials have confirmed the hack and erroneous quotes from ruler Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and the FBI, Qatari government, and the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency are investigating.

Oil prices fell on concern that the rift would undermine efforts by OPEC to tighten output.

USA officials told CNN the goal appears to be aimed at the USA and its allies.

A Qatari official said the rift was pushing Doha in the direction of leaving the six-state Gulf Cooperation Council, "with deep regret".

A substantial amount of Qatar's food is transported across the border from Saudi Arabia, which is being closed.

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