The State of Qatar and the United States have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on combating terrorism financing.
At a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, HE Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the State of Qatar, which was accused of financing terrorism, has become the first country to sign with the U.S. a similar agreement aiming to combat terrorism financing.
The MoU comes within the framework of the continuous bilateral cooperation between the State of Qatar and the U.S., and as a result of the joint work between the two sides, the exchange of experience and information and the development of this mechanism as well as the development of institutions between countries, HE the minister added.
HE foreign minister called on the countries, which imposed the siege on the State of Qatar to "join the future" and sign the agreement to combat terrorism financing.
The MoU is a separate bilateral agreement between the State of Qatar and the U.S., he said, adding that it has been discussed by the two sides for four weeks and has no direct or indirect connection to the Gulf crisis or the siege imposed on Qatar.
HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani described the meetings he held with his U.S. counterpart as "constructive" on the level of bilateral relations between the two friendly countries. He pointed out that a tripartite meeting was also held with the brothers in Kuwait, where they discussed the gulf crisis' developments and the valued efforts of the brothers in the State of Kuwait with the help of the friends in the U.S.
HE the foreign minister said that his meeting with his U.S. counterpart also discussed, within the bilateral framework, the importance of continuing cooperation and consultation between the two countries in all regional and political issues, underlining that the most significant outcome of these meetings was the signing of the MoU on combating terrorism financing, of which the State of Qatar was accused by the siege countries.
In a related context, HE the foreign minister reiterated that the State of Qatar's support for the role of the Kuwaiti mediator with the help of the U.S. "From the beginning, We were positive and open to a constructive dialogue that leads to settlement and resolution, which is the usual behavior of the State of Qatar," he said calling the siege countries to take the same behavior.
On the leaking of the Riyadh Agreement document yesterday, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the leaking and its timing indicate clear efforts to undermine the Kuwaiti mediation and to influence the visit of HE the U.S. secretary of state to the region as well as the efforts of the United States.
"If this leak reflects something, then it reflects the approach of the siege countries, the same countries which leaked the list of demands, sadly, to undermine this mediation," HE the minister said, asking about the level of trust in these countries and their international relations by leaking such secret documents, "which are usually respected even by companies, let alone countries."
HE noted that the media campaign, about Qatar's lack of commitment to the Riyadh Agreement is full of fallacies. He said that the State of Qatar has complied with all the terms of the agreement and that there were records attesting to its commitment to this, pointing out that the Riyadh Agreement is a collective agreement and not an obligation on the State of Qatar only. Qatar was not mentioned as a single country required to comply with the agreement, he explained.
He stressed that the action taken by the siege countries against the State of Qatar is a clear violation of this agreement because they did not use any of the dispute resolution mechanisms mentioned in this agreement. "Any complaints or objections should be tackled according to mechanisms listed either in the Riyadh Agreement or the Charter of the Gulf Cooperation Council," he said.
From his side, HE the US secretary of state praised the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for being the first to respond to the Riyadh summit on combating terrorism financing. He stressed on all the region's states to combat extremism and violence and to not have a safe haven for terrorism and terrorists.
In a press conference, HE the secretary of state said the US and the State of Qatar will work further to stop terrorism financing and maintain the region's safety, adding that the signing of the MoU today reflects the hard work and extensive talks held between both sides to reinforce the results of the Riyadh summit.
HE Secretary Tillerson added the MoU specifies the steps each country will take to stop terrorism financing globally, and sets a timeline for its implementation.
HE the secretary of state said the MoU has been in operation for almost a year and is considered a renewal of the talks of Riyadh's summit and US President Donald Trump's call for combatting terrorism financing. He stressed the MoU is a strong agreement on commitments to take immediate action according to a set timeframe, confirming that the State of Qatar has taken several steps in this regard and is implementing them.
HE the secretary of state highly praised the talks he held with HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, which touched on various topics, confirming that his visit to Doha holds the same spirit President Trump had on his visit to Riyadh, where the US has one goal to eradicate terrorism around the world and maintain its safety.
HE the secretary of state described his discussions with the Qatari leadership as deep and constructive, noting that he will head to Saudi Arabia to discuss their concerns and the options for settling the crisis. He didn't predict a timeframe for these solutions due to what he called ongoing attempts and current mediation.
HE the secretary of state confirmed the purpose of this visit is to support the State of Kuwait's efforts in the Gulf mediation, to help both parties understand the source of concern, and to find a possible solution to their differences.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs