Trump says Arab leaders warned him Qatar financed radicalism

"Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!" he continued later.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates announced Monday that they were pulling their diplomats from Qatar and closing all land, sea and air borders. They accused the tiny Gulf state of harboring extremist groups and suggested Qatari support for the agenda of Saudi Arabia's regional archrival Iran.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, the Qatari foreign minister, told CNN: "Whatever has been thrown as an accusation is all based on misinformation and we think that the entire crisis [is] based on misinformation".

With production capacity of about 600,000 barrels per day, Qatar's crude output ranks as one of the smallest among Opec countries, but tension within the cartel could weaken supply deals aimed at supporting prices.

More than 200 Pakistani Umrah pilgrims got stuck at Doha airport after Saudi Arabia and six other countries severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, and the air traffic between Qatar and Saudi Arabia got suspended.

Amman has also withdrawn the licenses for a bureau of the Doha-based TV news channel Al-Jazeera. "But the USA still wants to see this issue de-escalated and resolved immediately, keeping with the principles that the president laid out in terms of defeating terror financing and extremism", he said.

Flight tracker websites showed Qatar Airways flights taking a circuitous route mostly over Iran to avoid their neighbors.

The rift comes less than a month after Trump visited Saudi Arabia and called for Muslim nations to unite against extremism.

One official noted that based on past intelligence, "not much happens in that country without the blessing of the government".

Mediation efforts intensified on Tuesday, with Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah travelling to Saudi Arabia for talks to defuse the crisis.

Asked Monday about the developments in the Middle East, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The president is committed to continuing to have conversations with all of the people involved in that process, with all of those countries".


Meanwhile, PIA is in talks to bring back Pakistani passengers of the Qatar Airlines stranded in Doha, an official said on Tuesday.

France's President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Mr Erdogan and to the emir of Qatar in separate telephone calls, saying he was ready to back "all initiatives to encourage calm".

Several countries cut travel and embassy links with Qatar on Monday.

It's significant to note that nations in the Middle East and beyond believe that Qatar or individuals who live there financially support terrorism.

Some 8,000 USA military personnel are stationed at al Udeid in Qatar, the largest United States air base in the Middle East and a staging ground for US-led strikes on the militant group that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq. As the forward headquarters of US Central Command, it is seen as crucial in the US-led campaign against the Islamic State group.

A Pentagon spokesman said the crisis has had "no impact on our operations in Qatar or with regards to airspace permission around it".

The tourism and aviation industries will be immediately hit by the issue, since Qatar a major stop in global air transport.

FIFA, soccer's world governing body, has said it remains in regular contact with Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup.

He name-checked "support of extremist groups", "hostile media" and "interference in affairs of other countries" as things Qatar would have to change if it wished to restore ties. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have revoked the licences of Qatar Airways and ordered its offices to close.

Complicating matters further is Qatar's Al Udeid Air Base, which hosts the largest USA military presence in the Middle East. Al Udeid is also a base for the United States Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. military operations from Egypt to Pakistan and north through Afghanistan all the way to the border with Russian Federation.

President Donald Trump stressed the need for Gulf unity in talks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman Tuesday, amid a crisis that has divided several key USA allies in the region.

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