Trump Contradicts Tillerson Line On Blockade Of Qatar Within Hours

As well as cutting diplomatic relations and ordering Qatari citizens to leave their countries within 14 days, the Gulf states and Egypt banned all flights to and from Qatar. After "examining the cause" of the crisis, the Jordanian government also chose to revoke licenses for the Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move on Monday, accusing it of support for Islamist militants and Iran.

Triggering the Arab world's biggest crisis in years, they accused the tiny Gulf state of harboring extremist groups and suggested Qatar supported the agenda of Riyadh's arch-rival, Iran.

But what they produced was more mixed signals as President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson contradicted each other in separate statements about the tiny Emirate, which happens to host the largest USA air base in the Middle East.

The dispute comes less than a month after Trump visited Saudi Arabia and called for Muslim nations to unite against "extremism". "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

Qatar denies terror links, rejects 'blockade' by Arab states
He said Doha needs to make ironclad commitments to change what critics call a policy on funding Islamist militants. But he added that Qatar knew what it needed to do to restore normal relations.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told a news conference that Qatar, host to the biggest U.S. military base in the Middle East, wanted to maintain brotherly ties with its powerful neighbours in a region critical to world energy supplies.

The west African nation of Mauritania said shortly thereafter that it was also following suit, claiming that Qatar's tolerance towards extremism had "resulted in heavy losses to human life in these Arab countries, in Europe and throughout the world".

Granted, a lot of the region at this time, including Qatar, was still under British protection and influence, much to the frustration of a swath of the country's residents, so, of course, not all was well in the region.

Erdogan has said isolating Qatar would not resolve any problems.

Yet, a prolonged crisis will put significant pressure on Qatar.

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He said no proof of any wrongdoing "has been presented to Qatar yet".

"The nation of Qatar, unfortunately has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level", he said, before referencing his meeting with the Arab-Islamic American Summit on May 21, in Saudi Arabia.

UAE-based newspaper Gulf News and pan-Arab channel Al-Arabiya reported the crackdown on expressions of sympathy with Qatar.

During King Salman's visit to Malaysia, Saudi oil giant Aramco agreed to buy a US$7 billion equity stake in Malaysian state energy firm Petronas' major refining and petrochemical project. "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"

"This is in light of its commitment to fighting terrorism, drying up the sources of the funding of terrorism, combatting extremist ideology and the instruments of spreading and publicizing it", the statement read, according to Qatari media outlets. Qatar has denied the charges. Accordingly, there is a newfound confidence in Saudi Arabia and the UAE that strong measures to force the Qataris back into their box will find support in Washington.

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"That hack showed the UAE's real concerns and that what we really say in our private emails is what we say publicly", Gargash said.

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