JEDDAH: US President Donald Trump called King Salman on Tuesday night to discuss the latest developments in the region and the world, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The report, published early Wednesday, said Trump praised the Kingdom “for the leading role it played in the fight against terrorism.”
Trump said he “is looking forward to strengthening joint Saudi-US efforts in combatting extremism and achieving security and stability in the region.”
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing their erstwhile ally of harboring extremists and terrorist organizations.
In Washington, a senior White House official said Trump also stressed during their phone talk the need for Gulf unity, following a decision by Arab powers to cut ties to Qatar.
“His (Trump’s) message was that we need unity in the region to fight extremist ideology and terrorist financing. It’s important that the Gulf be united for peace and security in the region,” the senior White House official told Reuters.
Earlier Tuesday, Trump praised Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries’ for taking action against Qatar, saying his recent trip to the Middle East was “already paying off”.
“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. 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 wrote on Twitter.
Qatar vehemently denies the accusations.
(With input from Reuters)