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>> Wading into the worst rift between powerful Arab states in decades. US President Donald Trump saying Tuesday that his trip to the Middle East last month was already paying off as Arab leaders accused Qatar of funding militant groups. His blunt remarks on Twitter suggesting that the anti-Islamist speech he gave in Riyadh in May inspired Arab powers to cut diplomatic ties and suspend flights to Qatar.
US officials in Washington though, telling Reuters they were blindsided by Saudi Arabia's coordinated move against Doha, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates immediately followed suit. People panic buying in Doha on Tuesday. Videos posted on social media showing empty shelves and shoppers stocking up. Saudi Arabia also revoking the license of Qatar airways and ordering it's offices to close.
Qatar denies the Arab ruler's accusations that it backs Iran and supports what they called terrorism. Trump saying Arab leaders warned him on his trip that Qatar was funding, quote, radical ideology, after he demanded they take action. Adding, perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism.
His intervention appears to contradict the picture US officials painted on Monday, in which the United States would quietly calm the waters between Riyadh and Doha. Tiny Qatar, the world's richest state per capita, seen as too important to US military and diplomatic interests to be isolated. It hosts the largest US air base in the Middle East, a staging ground for US led strikes on Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.