Dubai: Egypt’s Al-Azhar and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed the decision by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and several other countries to cut ties with Qatar.
While Al-Azhar, one of the leading Islamic seminary of the Muslim world, in a statement praised the decision to suspend ties with the Qatari government to ensure what it called the unity and stability of the Arab nations, Trump called the move a ‘beginning of end of terrorism’.
In the statement released Tuesday Al-Azhar said that it is closely following regional developments during the past several days and reiterates its support for the joint Arab position in its decision to cut ties with Qatar who have supported and harbored extremist groups and who have intervened openly in the internal affairs of neighboring countries, according to Al Arabiya.
Al-Azhar also expressed hope that efforts from Arab nations will redouble to stop attempts “exerted by the oppressive regimes, which constitutes a threat to the security and stability of the Arab region, hoping they will wake up from their negligence and return to their senses”.
United President Donald Trump on the other hand said Middle East leaders pointed the finger towards Qatar when probed on who was responsible for terrorist financing in the region.
In a series of tweets posted on Tuesday, Trump said his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and meeting with 50 other Muslim leaders was “already paying off” after a hard line on funding of extremist groups in the region was agreed upon.
“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 to the horror of terrorism!” Trump said.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move on Monday. Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives joined later and transport links were shut down.
Tensions rose in the Gulf soon after US president Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia when a series of controversial comments attributed to Qatar’s emir, appeared in local media creating a row that led to the blocking of Doha-aligned news websites in some neighboring states.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s alleged comments, carried by the official state news agency QNA, apparently saw him endorse Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah — strongly diverging from the stance of Qatar’s Gulf neighbors.
Doha claimed the report was the result of a hacking attack — but its Gulf neighbors responded nonetheless, particularly after the same comments were repeated in more than one language, on more than one outlet and at various times of the day in a manner which makes the story true and the hacking seem less likely.