Trump Thanks Qatar for Counterterrorism Efforts, Months After Calling Out Qatar for Terror Ties

Trump further reiterated his support for 'strong, united' gulf cooperation council focused on countering regional threats

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Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad II and U.S. President Donald Trump in Riyadh, May 21, 2017
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad II and U.S. President Donald Trump in Riyadh, May 21, 2017Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday thanked the ruler of Qatar for "action to counter terrorism and extremism in all forms," the White House said, only months after Trump blasted the Gulf state for its ties to terrorism.

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"President Trump reiterated his support for a strong, united Gulf Cooperation Council that is focused on countering regional threats," the White House said in its statement Monday, outlining the call between Trump and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. 

"The leaders discussed areas in which the United States and Qatar can partner to bring more stability to the region, counter malign Iranian influence, and defeat terrorism," it said. 

In June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar amid a slew of punitive measures, accusing the gulf country of supporting terrorism.

Reports at the time said that Qatar's ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, objected to the Gulf states' hostility toward Iran, which he considered a great state that contributes to regional stability. He also allegedly said that Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood weren't terrorist organizations but rather resistance movements.

>> Fact check: Is Qatar supporting terrorism? A look at its ties to Iran, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood <<

In July, Trump echoed the accusations against Qatar in various tweets and statements since the diplmoatic crisis erupted between the Gulf monarchies - althought the Trump administration continues to sell Qatar billions in weapons. During a press conference with the Romanian president at the White House, Trump said Qatar is funding terror "on very high level." A statement he had made after tweeting, "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!"

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