Donald Trump asks Gulf states to stay united to fight terrorism

Hours after Trump's tweets, the US State Department said Qatar had made progress on stemming the funding of terrorists but that there was more work to be done.

"It was started based on fabricated news, being wedged and being inserted in our national news agency, which was hacked and proved by the Federal Bureau of Investigation", he added.

Erdogan held phone calls with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, presidential sources said.

The broadcaster said USA intelligence officials believe the hackers planted a false story on Qatar's state news agency that may have prompted the Saudi Arabia-led sanctions on Qatar.

Russian hackers tried to influence the French elections as well. The report also came amid growing scrutiny over Russia's foreign cyber activities, which included its alleged involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.

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A Hamas official says Saudi Arabia's call to Qatar to cut ties with the Palestinian group is "regrettable" and contradicts traditional Arab support for the Palestinian cause.

He said current measures by the Arab states, including a sea, land and air blockade, would have a considerable cost on the country.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry has sent messages to the Qataris saying that the Kingdom will continue to be a support for the Qatari people in terms of the country's security and stability, indicating that Qataris are a natural extension of their brothers in Saudi Arabia. Qatar has denied the allegations.

Trump's tweets Monday and Sunday calling for an even tougher travel ban in the wake of the London terror attacks and denouncing the judicial system as slow and political may undercut his case in court, legal experts said.

The German vice chancellor criticised the policies set out by American President Donald Trump as ushering in an era of protectionism and warned that "Qatar could become completely isolated and be existentially affected".

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Qatar is heavily dependent on food imports and the crisis has led to stockpiling and shortages. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!" They said they would take a hard line on funding.

A picture taken on June 5, 2017 shows a man walking past the Qatar Airways branch in the Saudi capital Riyadh, after it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia following a severing of relations between major Persian Gulf states and gas-rich Qatar.

The BBC's Barbara Plett Usher in Washington said Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have all funded extremists in Syria but pulled back under United States pressure, while Qatar, which likes to see itself as a neutral player and potential intermediary, has dealings that are arguably murkier than the others'.

In a sign of the potential risks to Qatar's economy, S&P Global Ratings cut Qatar's credit rating by one notch to AA- and put it on watch for further downgrades.

"Any de-escalation to the crisis is likely to require a leadership change in Qatar", Control Risks, a consulting firm, wrote in an assessment of the crisis.

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