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Trump Calls on Qatar to Stop Funding Terrorism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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President Donald Trump, accompanied by Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis, speaks during a news conference. AFP

Washington- US President Donald Trump demanded Qatar on Friday to stop funding terrorism and extremist groups, saying Doha “has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.”

In remarks in a joint press conference with President Klaus Iohannis of Romania, Trump said his administration will work on solving this problem, adding: “No civilized nation can tolerate this violence, or allow this wicked ideology to spread on its shores.”

He thanked Saudi Arabia and King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and all the countries that participated in the historic Islamic summit in Riyadh last month.

“It was truly historic.  There has never been anything like it before…Hopefully, it will be the beginning of the end of funding terrorism … No more funding.”

“I addressed a summit of more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders — a unique meeting in the history of nations — where key players in the region agreed to stop supporting terrorism, whether it be financial, military or even moral support,” he said.

“The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level, and in the wake of that conference, nations came together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behavior,” Trump added.

The president told reporters in the White House Rose Garden that he decided, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and generals at the Pentagon that the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding and its extremist ideology in terms of funding.

Less than two hours earlier, Tillerson urged Qatar to be “responsive to the concerns of its neighbors” and immediately crack down on extremist funding.

Qatar has made progress in halting financial support and expelling terrorists from the country, but it “must do more” and “must do it more quickly,” he said at a press conference in the State Department.

“The situation in the Arabian Gulf over the last few days is troubling to the United States, the region, and to many people who are directly affected,” Tillerson said, reaffirming Washington’s commitment to the spirit of the Arab Islamic American Summit.

He also announced support to the mediation efforts of Kuwait’s emir, calling for calm and no further escalation.

“We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt to ease the blockade against Qatar. There are humanitarian consequences to this blockade. We are seeing shortages of food, families are being forcibly separated, and children pulled out of school. We believe these are unintended consequences, especially during this Holy Month of Ramadan,” Tillerson added.