WASHINGTON — President Trump called Qatar’s leader Wednesday to urge him to resolve a diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia and other regional powers, a day after the president jumped into the controversy when he criticized Qatar.
“The president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary,” the White House said in a statement.
Trump’s own words on Tuesday heightened the dispute when he tweeted that his recent visit to the region prompted Saudi Arabia and four other countries to isolate Qatar, accusing it of funding radical terrorist groups.
“During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology,” Trump tweeted. “Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!”
The tweets had raised concerns of a rift between the United States and Qatar, home to a critical U.S. military headquarters that oversees coalition air operations against the Islamic State throughout the Middle East. It also coordinates air support for Afghanistan from the Qatar base.
In his call Wednesday Trump told Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani , Qatar’s leader, that it was important that countries in the region work together “to prevent the financing of terrorist organizations and stop the promotion of extremist ideology,” the White House said.
Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region have long had disputes with Qatar, but the rivalry intensified earlier this week when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates said they would cut ties with Qatar, accusing the country of destabilizing the region.