Trump offers to host summit on Qatar crisis


Trump, meanwhile, appeared to take credit for the decision of the countries to cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, putting his stamp of approval on the move despite Pentagon and US State Department attempts to remain neutral.

"His (Trump's) message was that we need unity in the region to fight extremist ideology and terrorist financing".

The announcement increases pressure on Qatar in a diplomatic and economic campaign to isolate the small Gulf Arab state, which is a critical global supplier of gas and hosts the biggest USA military base in the Middle East.

He said he had been consulted in advance by nations that "spoke to me about confronting Qatar", a country he said historically has been a "funder of terrorism at a very high level".

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies may have felt emboldened to move against Qatar by Trump's visit last month to Riyadh, which saw the president clearly align United States interests with the kingdom and lash out at Iran. These included the comments attributed to the emir, UAE accusations that Qatar has undermined the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and Qatar's handling of a hostage crisis involving 24 members of the ruling elite in which it paid ransom money to Islamist groups in Iraq an Syria.An annual phone call to mark the start of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan between Tamim and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on May 27 aggravated the situation further.

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He also said in another tweet that his recent visit to Saudi Arabia was "paying off" due to his warnings on funding terror. However, the Qatari foreign minister downplayed the likelihood of military conflict. "Service to and from the USA will continue to operate as normal", the source said.

All passengers booked on affected flights will be provided with alternative options, including a full refund on unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternative destination, Qatar Airways said. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday that Qatar needed to take several steps, including ending its support of Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, to restore ties with other key Arab states, which also cut transport links.

If Qatar doesn't change its approach, then it "needs to understand that it's on its own, and it has to sort of deal and run its economy and run its country on its own", Gargash said. The tiny emirate, spanning just 11,500 square km, with just over 3,10,000 Qataris inhabiting the island (and more than 2.3 million expatriates, over 6,50,000 of them being Indian), has over the past few years built itself as one of the biggest brands in the region, projecting as a major player in regional politics and global economics, powered by the third largest proven natural gas reserves in the world. "We have to stop the funding of terrorism". "The opportunity presented itself with the Trump visit and Trump's presidency in general", a former USA ambassador to Doha told Reuters, suggesting the move had been in the works for two or three months.

The unprecedentedly harsh sanctioning of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies has created a new flashpoint in an energy-rich region already convulsed by turmoil.