US President Donald Trump, wading into a deep rift among Arab states, said on Tuesday his trip to the Middle East was “already paying off”, as governments there took a hard new line in accusing Qatar of funding militant groups.
The campaign to isolate Qatar was disrupting trade in commodities from crude oil to metals and food, and deepening fears of a possible shock to the global gas market, where the tiny Gulf state is a major player. Trump’s blunt remarks cast the anti-Islamist speech he gave at a Riyadh summit in May as the inspiration for a decision by Arab powers to sever ties and transport links to Qatar in protest at what they say is its support for terrorism.
“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!” Trump said on Twitter.