Speed Reads

3 days later

Tillerson urges Gulf states to ease the Qatar blockade Trump previously cheered

Three days after President Trump seemingly took credit for the Gulf states' freeze-out of Qatar, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt to "ease the blockade against Qatar." Tillerson said Friday that the decision to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar bore "humanitarian consequences" and adversely affected the fight against the Islamic State, though he added Qatar needs to address concerns that it is providing financial support to Islamic extremists. Qatar has denied funding terrorist groups.

Trump on Tuesday recounted on Twitter how during his visit last month to the Middle East, he said there "could no longer be funding of radical ideology" and "leaders pointed to Qatar — look!" "So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off," Trump tweeted. "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!"