Qatar ambassador ‘surprised’ by Trump’s tweets

Qatar ambassador ‘surprised’ by Trump’s tweets
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Qatar’s ambassador to the U.S. said Tuesday that he and other leaders were “surprised” by President Trump’s tweets taking credit for four Arab nations cutting ties with his country.

“We were surprised,” Ambassador Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani said Tuesday, according to The Daily Beast. “No one approached us directly and said look we have problems with this, and this and this.”

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Trump earlier Tuesday suggested on Twitter that his visit to Saudi Arabia last month helped inspire multiple Arab nations to sever ties with Qatar.

“During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology,” he tweeted. “Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!”

“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off,” Trump continued. “They said they would take a hard line on funding … extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end of the horror of terrorism!”

The ambassador called the tweets "unfortunate," adding that the U.S. knows and is "trying to de-escalate" the situation.

“It’s unfortunate to see these tweets,” he added. “We have close coordination with the United States. They know our efforts to combat financial terrorism and terrorism. The U.S. is trying to understand and make assessment of the situation. We appreciate the role that they are playing in trying to de-escalate it.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on Monday recalled their ambassadors from Qatar and closed all land, sea and air borders with the country.

Yemen, the Maldives and Libya’s eastern-based government followed suit later that day, further complicating tensions in the Middle East.

The countries cited Qatar’s relations with Iran and what they say is Qatar’s support for extremist groups like al Qaeda and Hamas, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The U.S. has a massive air base in Qatar’s capital city of Doha, with hosts as many as 10,000 American military personnel.

Trump spoke with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, according to a White House statement.

The White House said Trump "underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability."