Donald Trump has taken credit for the decision of six Arab countries to sever ties with Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Bahrain and the Western-recognised governments of Libya and Yemen cut ties with Doha on Monday (5 June) over its perceived tolerance of Saudi Arabia's arch-rival, Iran. The countries also accused the Qatari government of funding regional terrorist networks, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Qatari nationals living in the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been given two weeks to leave and all transport links with Qatar have been suspended.

Weighing in on the escalating row between Qatar and the other Gulf states, the US president said that his recent visit to Saudi Arabia was "already paying off" and that it was clear that the Saudis were following through on their promise to "take a hard line on funding extremism".

"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," the president wrote on Twitter on Tuesday (6 June).

"Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!" he added.

During his trip to Riyadh, Trump said he spoke honestly "about confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds".

He also signed a $110bn arms deal, financially supporting the Saudi government's campaign to combat Iran's expanding influence in the region.

Experts say the timing of the decision of the Arab nations, which comes just two weeks after Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, is crucial.

Dr Jean-Marc Rickli, a senior researcher at the Near East Center for Security and Strategy at King's College London, told IBTimes UK that the US president's support of Saudi and Emirati policy against Iran was "instrumental in the re-emergence of this crisis" as it emboldened the Gulf states to put pressure on Qatar.

On Monday (5 June), Iran accused the US of escalating the diplomatic crisis.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's deputy chief of staff, Hamid Aboutalebi, tweeted: "What is happening now is the preliminary result of the sword dance," referring to President Trump taking part in a traditional ceremonial dance during his visit to Riyadh.