US President Donald Trump has said that Qatar has been a high level funder of terrorism and has called on the Gulf state to end its support of extremist ideologies.

“The nation of Qatar unfortunately as historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level,” said President Trump speaking in Washington on 9 June. “The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding. They have to end that funding and its extremist ideology in terms of funding.”

Trump also said that other countries, assumed to be Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, approached him after he was in Riyadh about taking action against Qatar. “In the wake of that conference nations came to me together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behaviour. So we had a decision to make. Do we take the easy road of do we finally take a hard but necessary action.”

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain severed diplomatic links with Qatar amid growing tensions in the Gulf. The four countries accuse Qatar of fuelling instability in the region.

A blockade has also been imposed with Saudi Arabia closing Qatar’s only land border, and the three GCC states closing of their airspace and prevent direct shipping services. They have also said that Qatar nationals should leave their respective countries.

Qatar had earlier said that President Trump is “crucial” to resolving the crisis. Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the US, told the Financial Times that “We believe in his [Trump’s] ability to calm this crisis down”.