Qatar must stop funding terror, extremist ideology

The announcement intensifies the diplomatic and economic campaign to isolate Qatar, a small Gulf Arab state which is a critical global supplier of gas and hosts the biggest USA military base in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the UAE listed scores of organizations in a 2014 spat with Qatar.

Qatar is home to the largest USA airbase in the Middle East, making it a key ally in the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

It ssid Eritrea had "strong ties with the brother people of Qatar", and it was "impossible to cut ties".

Trump expanded the criticism to other unnamed countries suspected of financing terror groups and being hotbeds of extremist ideologies. "Stop the killing", Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden of the White House in a joint news conference with the visiting Romanian president Klaus Johannis.

"I decided along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson...the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding", he said.

The listing was the latest move to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically in an intensifying row that has swiftly divided the region's most powerful actors and generated growing concern in Washington.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 9 dismissed charges that Qatar supports terrorism and called for an end of the economic blockade on the small Persian Gulf nation by its Arab neighbors.

Qatar is home to a vital USA military base.

"In another circular, the Central Bank advised banks and other financial institutions operating in the UAE to apply immediately enhanced customer due diligence for any accounts they hold belonging to six Qatari banks: Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, Barwa Bank, Masraf al-Rayan, Qatar National Bank and Doha Bank", WAM said.

Hours before the president's statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered a more measured assessment of Qatar.

"There are humanitarian consequences to this blockade".

He said families were being separated, children removed from school and Qataris forced to deal with food shortages.

The two other GCC countries, Oman and Kuwait, have tried to mediate, though Friday's controversy suggests that efforts to end the crisis have so far failed.

The tough United States line was a rebuff for Qatar s efforts to reach out for support from overseas.

Russia's top diplomat Sergey Lavrov and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met in Moscow Saturday.

Despite a severing of diplomatic ties with several Arab states, Qatar's gas supplies to Egypt and the UAE have reportedly not been interrupted.

He said Russian Federation and Qatar "are bonded with relationship of friendship" and appreciates the countries' bilateral cooperation.

"Our position on countering terrorism is stronger than numerous signatories of the joint statement - a fact that has been conveniently ignored by the authors", the Qatari government said in a statement.

The crisis is drawing in more countries.

Qatar has called the accusations baseless and have described the measures as a "siege" harmful to ordinary people there. Turkey, like Qatar, has supported the Muslim Brotherhood, which led an elected government in Egypt in 2013 but was ousted from power by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

  • Leroy Wright