US President Donald Trump has weighed on the ongoing diplomatic dispute with Qatar and neighbouring Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia, saying his trip to the Middle East is "already paying off".

In a series of posts on Twitter on Tuesday, Trump referenced Qatar when he said leaders of the Middle East have stated that they "would take a hard line on funding extremism".

"During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!" Trump said.

"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!"

The Qatari government has no immediate response to Trump's tweet.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it is grateful to Qatar for support of US military presence and "enduring commitment to regional security".

Qatar and Saudi alongside five other countries are currently locked in a diplomatic dispute, over Doha's role in the region.  

Conflicting US message

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington DC, said the latest post of Trump only complicates effort to diffuse the situation.

"This is not just a tweet," Culhane said, adding that it could signal a US foreign policy shift towards a Gulf ally, which hosts the largest American base in the Middle East.

"We will be watching. I can tell you from the defence department perspective, from the Secretary of State perspective, they don't want this [dispute] to continue.
US says Trump 'committed to resolving' Gulf Arab diplomatic crisis
"They want the sides to de-escalate. This couple of tweets does exactly the opposite."

Our correspondent also said that Trump's latest statement shows that he is not in line with people in his own administration.

"Just because the president tweets something it does not mean that it is changing the foreign policy. That may sound strange but thats where we at in this new era of social media."

On Monday, Dana Shell Smith, US ambassador to Qatar, posted an embassy statement saying that the "US supports Qatar's efforts in combating terrorism financing, and appreciates its role in coalition against ISIL."

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had also issued a statement encouraging the parties involved in the Gulf dispute to sit down and address their differences.

Only last May 21, Trump met with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in Saudi Arabia.

During the meeting, Al Jazeera's Culhane reported, the US leader "bragged about how much military equipment the US sold" to Qatar.

"If you believe that they are the sole funder of extremism, it seems unlikely that you would want to supply them weapons."

In 2015, the US sold an estimated $17bn worth of weapons to Qatar, representing 42.5 percent of total US arms sales that year.

On May 21, Trump met with leaders of the Middle East and its allies in Saudi Arabia [Reuters]
Source: Al Jazeera