US-Qatar ink terror financing agreement as Middle East crisis persists

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WASHINGTON, July 8 (APP) The United States and Qatar on Tuesday signed an agreement to cooperate to interrupt and disable terror financing flows and intensify counterterrorism activities globally at a time when the tiny Gulf state is facing isolation following a diplomatic crisis that also involved several Gulf states.
The agreement was signed by Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who is in Doha to help defuse the Middle East diplomatic crisis that threatens US counterterrorism efforts in the region.
The crisis erupted in early June when Saudi Arabia and three other Gulf States announced to severe diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting the terrorist group.
“The agreement in which we both have signed on behalf of our governments represents weeks of intensive discussions between experts and reinvigorates the spirit of the Riyadh summit,” the Secretary said.
The memorandum lays out a series of steps the two countries will take over the coming months and years to interrupt and disable terror financing flows and intensify counterterrorism activities globally. “The agreement includes milestones to ensure both countries are accountable to their commitments,” he added
“Together, the United States and Qatar will do more to track down funding sources, will do more to collaborate and share information, and will do more to keep the region and our homeland safe,” the Secretary added.
At a State Department briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert expressed the hope that the US-Qatar agreement would pave the way for defusing the crisis between Doha and the four Gulf countries.
“We know that all of those countries, as we talked about in Riyadh, share the concern about ISIS, the global terror network, and they recognize that we are all stronger when we are working together and coordinating in the fight against ISIS,” she said.
“So we believe that this memo of agreement between the United States and Qatar is a good first start to get that underway.”
Responding to a question, she said that the Gulf countries and the Secretary were committed to trying to work this through and come to a resolution.
“Its been more than a month now. We’ve continued to ask them to do that. I think those nations all understand the concern and the importance to work together to come to a resolution on this.”
She said that the agreement on terror financing between the US and Qatar sends a really good message to all of the nations and helps set a good example for other nations that “we hope that they will come to the table with us as well”.