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Trump Accuses Qatar of Funding Terrorism at a 'Very High Level'

Trump Accuses Qatar of Funding Terrorism at a 'Very High Level'”

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and closed their airspace to commercial flights on Monday, charging Doha with financing militant groups.

In a strong-worded opening remarks, Trump alleged that Qatar is funding terrorism at the "highest level" and asked other countries doing the same to stop with immediate effect. Qatar's US ambassador, Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, told The Associated Press his country is counting on Washington to persuade Saudi Arabia and others to back down.

Turkey and Qatar have developed close ties over the years and reached an agreement in 2014 for the construction of a Turkish base there.

But a diplomat in Kuwait briefed by foreign ministry officials said the emir's diplomacy had been about damage control and had yet to produce tangible results, with personality clashes playing a big role in the impasse.

In an extraordinary broadside against a key USA partner, President Donald Trump lambasted Qatar on Friday for funding terrorism "at a very high level" and insisted that it stop.

The rupture is based on the accusation that the Qatari government finances terrorist organisations, including the Islamic State, Al Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, an accusation that Qatar has denied.

Tillerson says the blockade is hindering US military efforts and the campaign against the Islamic State group.

"We are willing to sit and talk", Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN late on Tuesday.

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S&P Global Ratings also noted that the group of states which have cut off ties "provides 15 percent of Qatar's imports, potentially causing substantial shortages of key materials, including those used for construction projects, and food".

Moscow's appeal came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson encouraged Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their land and sea "blockade" of gas-rich Qatar.

President Donald Trump called Qatar's emir Wednesday and offered USA help as efforts grew to resolve a damaging feud between the emirate and its Gulf neighbors.

The White House said the Mr Trump and Mr Sisi agreed on the importance of all countries implementing agreements to fight terrorism.

A senior administration official told Reuters earlier this week that the United States had no indication from the Saudis or Emiratis in Riyadh during Trump's visit last month that they would sever ties with Qatar. Qatar has called for talks to resolve the dispute. "Service to and from the US will continue to operate as normal", the source said. Tillerson has been tapped by Trump to help mediate the worst diplomatic crisis in the Gulf in years.

Tillerson, whom Trump has tasked with de-escalating the dispute, said it is "troubling to the United States, the region and to many people who are directly affected".

Numerous others added to the list are figures associated with the Muslim Brotherhood who have made Qatar a base, including Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef al-Qaradawi.



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