Trump: Qatar Rift Hopefully the Beginning of the End of the Horrors of Terrorism

Saudi Arabia cut its diplomatic ties with Qatar, along with Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, who accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism

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U.S. President Donald Trump, right, holds a bilateral meeting with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Riyadh.
U.S. President Donald Trump, right, holds a bilateral meeting with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Riyadh.Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

U.S. President Donald Trump seemed to take credit for the current crisis between the Arab world and Qatar on Twitter on Tuesday. He then went on to claim the the Qatar crisis might be "the begining of the end to the horror of terrorism!" His comments follow extreme diplomatic measures taken against Qatar by neighboring states that claim it is supporting terrorism.

"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!" Trump tweeted.

The U.S. president's follow up tweet referenced his visit to Saudi Arabia last month, saying the the trip was already "paying off," and that that the Qatar crisis might be "beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

The U.S. president failed to mention however, that Qatar is also home to one of the largest American airbases in the region, which hosts some 11,000 U.S. military personel.

The Al Udeid U.S. Central Command airbase moved to Qatar from Saudi Arabia in 2003 and serves as the U.S.'s command and logistics hub for operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber arrives at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar April 9, 2016.Credit: HANDOUT/REUTERS

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Aside from signing a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia during his visit to the region last month, the U.S. president also met with regional leaders at a U.S.- Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh, where discussions on the region’s security threats and economic ties were held. The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi and the United Arab Emirates.

Trump held bilateral meetings with each of the leaders at the summit, including with the emir of Qatar.

Qatar's foreign minister said on Tuesday that Doha was ready for mediation efforts after the Arab world's biggest powers severed ties with it, adding that Qatar's ruler had delayed a speech in order to give Kuwait a chance to ease regional tensions. 

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move on Monday. Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives joined later and transport links were shut down. 

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani spoke by telephone overnight with his counterpart in Kuwait, which has maintained diplomatic ties with Qatar, and decided to postpone a speech to the Qatari people as requested. 

Doha also decided not to retaliate against the measures. 

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Qatar wants to give Kuwait's Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah the ability to "proceed and communicate with the parties to the crisis and to try to contain the issue," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said in comments to Qatar-based Al Jazeera television. 

Kuwait's emir had an important role in a previous Gulf rift in 2014 and Qatar's Sheikh Tamim "regards him as a parent and respects his desire to postpone any speech or step until there is a clearer picture of the crisis," Al Jazeera quoted the foreign minister as saying. 

Sheikh Mohammed told the channel that the measures taken against Qatar had an "unprecedented impact" on its citizens and on family relations in the Gulf Arab region, but said Doha will not take counter measures. 

Qatar "believes such differences between sister countries must be resolved through dialogue." 

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