Trump to Qatar: Stop funding terror

President Trump says Qatar has funded terror "at a very high level."

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday called on Qatar to stop funding of groups that commit terrorism, saying the country had historically done so "at a very high level."

"No civilized nation can tolerate this violence or allow this wicked ideology to spread on its shores," Trump told reporters during a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

Earlier on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Gulf states to ease their blockade of Qatar, explaining that it has "humanitarian consequences" and hinders the United States' military efforts.

This week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and shut down land, sea and air links. Jordan and several other countries in the region followed suit.

Those countries accuse Qatar of supporting terror groups in the region, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, a charge denied by Qatar.

The countries should "immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation and make a good faith effort to resolve the grievances they have with each other," Tillerson said Friday in a statement quoted by NBC News.

Meanwhile on Friday, reported Reuters, Trump spoke by phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss Qatar and the need for Gulf unity.

It was the fourth call Trump has had with a regional leader since the crisis began on Monday.

During his phone calls, Trump has emphasized a desire for Gulf unity in the wake of the crisis but has made clear he sees a need for Qatar to improve its behavior, said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The spat between Qatar and the other Arab countries began late last month, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt all blocked the website of the Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera television network.

That move followed comments attributed to the Emir of Qatar, in which he allegedly described Iran as an "Islamic power" and criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's policy towards Tehran.

Qatar claimed that its Emir had not made the comments attributed to him, saying the website of its official news agency was hacked.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)