US, Qatar sign MoU to combat financing of terrorism

US, Qatar sign deal to combat ‘terrorism financing’

The United States and Qatar signed an agreement on Tuesday aimed at combating the financing of terrorism, as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Doha to try to end a month-long rift between Western-allied Arab states, Reuters reported.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar last month, accusing it of financing extremist groups and allying with the Gulf Arab states’ arch-foe Iran, allegations Doha denies, according to Reuters.

Tillerson said the agreement signed with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, had been under discussion for months.

“The agreement 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,” Tillerson said at a joint news conference with Sheikh Mohammed, Reuters wrote.

U.S. President Donald Trump met representatives of Arab states during a visit to Saudi Arabia in May.

“The memorandum lays out a series of steps that each country will take in coming months and years to interrupt and disable terror financing flows and intensify counter terrorism activities globally,” Tillerson added, Reuters reported.

Sheikh Mohammed said the agreement was not linked to the crisis with the four Arab countries, which the United States fears could impact its military and counter-terrorism operations and increase Iran’s influence in the region, added Reuters.

Tehran has sent food supplies to Qatar and allows the country’s carrier to fly through its airspace, according to Reuters.

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