President Trump says united Gulf Cooperation Council critical to defeating terrorism

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WASHINGTON, June 7 (APP): US President Donald Trump has emphasized that a united Gulf Cooperation Council was critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability.
President Trump spoke with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on telephone and discussed the critical goals of preventing the financing of terrorist organizations and eliminating the promotion of extremism by any nation in the region.
“The President underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability,” according to a statement issued by the White House.
The GCC comprises six states including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
His telephonic conversation with the Saudi King came amid media reports that suggested President Trump was taking sides in the recent diplomatic turmoil in the Middle East, referring to his tweet in which he said: “During my recent trip to the Middle East, I stated that there can no longer be funding for Radical Ideology logy.:
He continued: “Leaders pointed to Qatar look.”
Media reports quoted unnamed Trump administration officials denying that President Trump was taking sides despite his tweets in which he greeted Saudi Arabia and himself for a diplomatic coup against Qatar.
Egypt on Monday joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in cutting off diplomatic ties with Qatar, escalating a diplomatic crisis that would hurt regional trade links and air routes.
The move to severe ties with a Gulf member country came weeks after a visit by President Trump to the region where he addressed 50 heads of state and government to unite in confronting the challenge posed by terrorism.
US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert at briefing has said that “We recognize that Qatar continues to make efforts to stop the financing of terrorist groups, including prosecuting suspected financiers, freezing assets, introducing stringent controls into its banking system.”
But, she added that while they have made progress, “they still have work to do. More work needs to be done.”
Asked, if President Trump’s tweets signaled a shift in the policy or taking sides, Ms Nauert said that the US relations with Qatar were strong and that US continue to cooperate with Qatar and other countries in the region in the fight against terrorism.
She said that the United States was informed about the decision to severe ties with Qatar, but only immediately prior to the announcement.
Replying to another question, he said the United States and its coalition were grateful to the Qataris for their longstanding support of US presence there.
“They have helped to provide us with an enduring commitment to regional security,” she added.
Qatar is one of the US closest allies where it has one of the largest bases in the region.
US jet fighters used that base on Monday to strike ISIS targets in Raqqa.