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Saudi ally Bahrain demands Qatar distance itself from Iran
19 June 2017, 02:38 | Sandy Nunez
"The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding - they have to end that funding - and its extremist ideology in terms of funding", Trump said.
Trump's phone call Wednesday made for a stark contrast to a series of tweets he sent Tuesday, in which he appeared to throw his weight behind the effort by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, along with Yemen, the Maldives and Libya, to ostracize Qatar.
Following the crisis, Iranian officials accused the US of setting the scene for the escalating Gulf diplomatic crisis during President Donald Trump's recent trip to the Saudi Arabia.
The Turkish president said he has never known Qatar to give support to terror organisations. Earlier in the week, Trump took to Twitter to take credit for the Saudi-led move to punish Qatar, saying it could be the start of the end of terrorism in the Middle East.
Riyadh, Cairo and their allies accuse Qatar, the world's richest country per capita, of supporting militant Islamist movements across the region.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Trump would rather that all sides worked out the dispute among themselves. Tillerson said the USA was asking Qatar to "be responsive to the concerns of its neighbors".
The rift has provoked confusion and anxiety in Qatar, an energy, banking and construction hub, which is home to 2.7 million people - majority foreigners.
"Countries, who stayed silent while massacres were carried out in Syria, while babies were killed in [the Syrian city of] Idlib, are now doing this, not to another country, but specifically to Qatar for a reason we can not understand", she said.
But there have been few signs of progress as officials from Qatar and its Arab neighbours in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) pursue shuttle diplomacy.
The Saudi newspaper al Watan published what it called a list of eight "extremist organisations" seen as working to destabilise the region from Qatar, including Qatar's Al Jazeera news channel, that were targeted by Gulf Arab states.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a former Libyan Islamist commander, is one of five Libyans listed, while Qaradawi and firebrand Salafi preacher Wagdi Ghoneim are among the 26 Egyptian nationals.
President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday approved legislation on deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar, signaling support for the Gulf state as it faces isolation imposed by fellow Arab states over its alleged support for terrorism.
With supply chains disrupted and anxiety mounting about deepening economic turbulence, banks and firms in Gulf Arab states were trying to keep business links to Qatar open and avoid a costly firesale of assets. "The Ministry said the investigation team confirmed that the piracy process had used high techniques and innovative methods by exploiting an electronic gap on the website of the Qatar News Agency", the foreign ministry said in a statement.
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