US President Donald Trump has tweeted that “Interesting things are happening” in the Middle East, following a conversation he had with Saudi Arabia’s king.
“Spoke yesterday with the King of Saudi Arabia about peace in the Middle-East. Interesting things are happening!,” Trump tweeted on Monday.
On Sunday, Trump spoke separately by phone with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, and Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar.
The White House said Trump spoke with the Arab leaders about the situation with Qatar and “reiterated the importance of stopping terrorist financing and discrediting extremist ideology.”
Trump also restated his goals from his visit to the region in May of “defeating terrorism” and “achieving a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
Saudi Arabia, itself known as a main sponsor of violent extremist ideology, has spearheaded a blockade against Qatar for allegedly sponsoring terrorism.
US President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (file photo)
The crisis unfolded on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, officially accusing it of “sponsoring terrorism” and destabilizing the region.
Doha, however, has slammed the measures as unjustified, saying they are based on false claims and assumptions.
While Trump has seemingly sided with the Saudi-led bloc, his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has called for an end to the diplomatic and economic blockade, which he said has hurt US interests in the region.
Analysts believe the Saudi measures are rather because Doha does not see Riyadh as the “big brother,” and follows an independent policy including in its relations with Iran.