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US, Qatar sign deal to combat terror financing

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The US and Qatar have signed a deal to combat terror financing as the oil-rich nation faces sanctions from its neighbouring countries for allegedly supporting extremism.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travelled to the Middle East to try to resolve the stand-off between Qatar and other Persian nations, which have accused their oil-rich neighbour of supporting

"We worked out an arrangement with the Qataris separate from the Qatar feud. And this is something we're pretty proud of. That is the Qataris and the United States have signed a memo of understanding between the United States and Qatar on counter financing," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at a daily conference.

This she hoped would pave the way for Qatar to go back into the good stead of the other four countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates -- that cut off relations with them on the issue of terror financing.

"We know that all of those countries, as we talked about in Riyadh, share the concern about ISIS, the global terror network, and they recognise that we are all stronger when we are working together and coordinating in the fight against ISIS.

"So we believe that this memo of agreement between the United States and Qatar is a good first start to get that underway," Nauert said.

This new counter-financing and funding initiative that Tillerson announced yesterday in the region with his Qatari counterpart is a good first place to start, she said.

"I think to highlight that the United States and Qatar have this agreement on terror financing sends a really good message to all of the nations that we can get to this agreement on this.

"We can get to an agreement that terror financing is a major issue and a major concern.

"So, I think that helps set a good example for the other nations that we hope that they will come to the table with us as well," Nauert said.

The State Department spokesperson said she is not sure, at this point of time, if this could be extended to other countries as well.

"I'm not certain if this memorandum is going to be extended to the other nations. There could potentially be but I don't want to get ahead of the Secretary. I suppose there could be separate memorandums that would come of these conversations," she said.

"I'm hopeful we can make some progress to bring this to a point of resolution," Tillerson said during a joint conference in Doha with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed al-Thani.

The Saudis along with three other nations moved last month to isolate Qatar for its alleged ties with terrorist organisations. They also hit the peninsula nation with a 13- point list of steep demands.

Qatar has rejected the allegations and has refused to comply with the ultimatum.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 12 2017. 16:42 IST