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Trump speaks to Saudi king as Gulf crisis deepens

The new stance suggests a desire by the administration to support Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar earlier this week – essentially picking sides in a regional row in the heart of the Sunni Muslim world.”Qatar has a history of supporting groups that span the spectrum of political expression from activism from violence”.The U.S. military has said it wouldn’t change its position regarding Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base, but Mr. Trump said in a tweet Tuesday that other Middle Eastern “leaders pointed to Qatar” funding radical Islamic ideology. Qatar Airways in turn has suspended all its flights to Saudi Arabia, but has not yet said what its plans are for the other countries involved in the dispute.Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump suggested hosting a meeting at the White House to encourage dialogue between the conflicting nations. Tillerson said the blockade was causing food shortages, the forced separation of families and children being pulled out of school.Some 8,000 US military personnel are stationed at al Udeid in Qatar, the largest USA air base in the Middle East and a staging ground for US -led strikes on the Islamic State militant group that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq. We ask that there be no further escalation by the parties in the region.Saudi Arabia has also closed its land borders with Qatar, geographically isolating the tiny Gulf state.The secretary of State said the emir of Qatar has made progress in curbing financial support for extremist groups, “but he must do more and he must do it more quickly”.A diplomatic crisis continues to develop in the Persian Gulf, where four Sunni states are attempting to isolate the small, oil-rich nation of Qatar from the rest of the region. Trump also appeared to suggest the decision to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar, home to a large USA military base, was understandable. It follows a previous listing of scores of organizations in 2014 by Saudi Arabia and the UAE during a previous spat with Qatar.Qatar has previously said it would “not surrender” to outside influences on its foreign policies.He added: “We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy”.”Qatar has to redress its path and has to go back to all previous commitments, it has to stop media campaigns and has to distance itself from our number one enemy, Iran”, he said. The U.S. will support these mediation efforts along with the emir of Kuwait.”And we hope that our brother Qatar will now take the right steps in order to end this crisis”.Qatar has “historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level”, Trump told reporters.