Monday’s abrupt decision by five Arab states — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen — to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar has drawn diverse and wide-ranging reactions.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that during his recent trip to the Middle East he had warned against funding “radical ideology” and that his Arab hosts had “pointed to 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!”
Trump visited Saudi Arabia last month on his first presidential trip abroad since taking office in January.
During his visit, the U.S. president had called on Muslim-majority countries to “honestly” confront the proliferation of extremist ideologies and terrorist groups in the region.
Ankara, for its part, has expressed its desire for a peaceful solution to the ongoing row, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday.
Speaking at a joint press conference in the Turkish capital with German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel, Cavusoglu said Turkey was ready to help mediate the crisis.
“Dialogue should continue under all circumstances so that existing problems might be solved in a peaceful way,” he said.
Algeria, too, has called for dialogue between the quarrelling Gulf States.
“Algeria remains confident that the current difficulties are temporary and that wisdom and self-restraint will prevail,” read a Tuesday statement issued by Algeria’s Foreign Ministry.
And on Monday evening, Israel’s hardline defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, described the crisis as an “opportunity” for stepped-up cooperation between Israel and the Arab world.
“The crises between the Arab countries is not because of Israel, Jews or Zionism,” he said, “but rather because of terrorism.”
“This, of course, opens the possibility of cooperation with Israel,” he added.
Khartoum, for its part, has urged all parties to the dispute to practice self-restraint, offering to play a mediating role in the crisis.
According to Sudan’s official news agency, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir called the emir of Kuwait to this end on Monday evening.
‘’Sudan would like to express its deep concern over these escalations between brotherly Arab countries and… calls for de-escalation,” read a statement issued by Sudan’s Foreign Ministry.
Kuwait’s emir on Monday also urged his Qatari counterpart to refrain from taking any steps that might aggravate the crisis, according to Kuwait’s official news agency.
In a phone call, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah urged Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani “to exercise self-restraint and refrain from taking any steps that might escalate the situation,” the news agency reported.
It went on to report that the emir planned to travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to discuss the crisis with Saudi leaders.
And on Monday evening, Qatar’s emir received Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi in Doha so that they might discuss the escalating diplomatic row.
Meanwhile, the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called upon Qatar to “honor its previous commitments and agreements signed within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), particularly with regard to ceasing support for terrorist groups and their activities and ending media incitement,” according to a Monday OIC statement.
The following day, Qatar reacted to the OIC statement by voicing its “strong condemnation and astonishment”.
In a statement published on Qatar’s official news agency, the Qatari leadership said the OIC statement was based “on false claims and accusations” and was part of an “incitement campaign” against Qatar.
It went on to describe the OIC statement as “a dangerous precedent that threatens the work and credibility of the OIC”.
It also accused the OIC of “engaging in an action that does not meet the objectives and purposes of the organization and does not comply with the Islamic principles and values under which the organization was established”.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Yemen all abruptly cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, citing concerns related to “national security”.
The escalation came two weeks after the website of Qatar’s official news agency was allegedly hacked by unknown persons who reportedly published statements falsely attributed to Qatar’s emir, igniting the row between Doha and its fellow Gulf states.