Doha, Qatar: The US and Qatar on Tuesday signed a bilateral agreement chiefly aimed at counterterrorism activties globally.
The agreement 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 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 US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson
Addressing media-persons jointly, Foreign Minister of Qatar Al-Thani said with reference to the agreement of Riyadh and the charter of the Gulf Cooperation Council that the agreement that has been signed now between the US and Qatar with Kuwait playing the mediatory role that it’s a separate bilateral agreement between Qatar and the United States which has been underway and in discussion for weeks now, and it has nothing related directly to or indirectly to the recent crisis and the blockade imposed against Qatar.
Al-Thani said Qatar supports the role carried out by the Kuwaiti mediator and supported by the United States. We have been very much positive and forthcoming in engaging in a constructive dialogue which will result for a solution, he said adding that has been the behavior of the state of Qatar from the beginning of this crisis. He also expressed the hope that the countries that have imposed a blockade on Qatar would behave in the same manner.
The Qatar Foreign Minister said that they (The US and Qatar) have agreed on many points, and have signed a memorandum of understanding on combating financing of terrorism. This comes in the context of bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Qatar, he said adding it is a result of the joint efforts to develop mechanisms to combat financing terrorism and exchange information and expertise to develop this mechanism and to develop the institutions between different countries.
The main output of of the present exercise was the memorandum of understanding pertaining to combating financing terrorism, an issue hat has been staring Qatar in the face as for long, the blockading countries have accused Qatar of financing terrorism. This was especially underscored by Al-Thani. The state of Qatar is the first country to sign this memorandum of understanding with the United States. We invite the other blockading countries to join signing this understanding, he said emphatically.
On the leaking the agreement of Riyadh and the timing of it, the Foreoign Minister of Qatar said the leaking of the Riyadh agreement the previous night and the timing of the leaking, show clear efforts to diminish the role by Kuwait and the mediation by Kuwait, and the efforts exacted by the United States to mediate this crisis. If this leaking reflects anything, it only reflects the approach by the blockading countries, similarly to what they did when they leaked the list of demands. This brings into question the level of trust in these countries in international relations. Usually, commercial companies show respect for this agreement, let alone respected countries and states.
Al-Thani furthr said: “As for the campaign that accompanied this leaking and the accusation that Qatar did not respect the agreement, these are falsifications and Qatar has committed itself and respected this agreement, and this can be proven. This is not a unilateral agreement. This is a multilateral agreement. And the statement – the agreement does not singularly single out Qatar to adhere to this agreement. And this is a clear violation of the blockading countries because they did not use any of the dispute settlement mechanisms, and as a result, if there are any grievances, these shall be discussed either according to the agreement of Riyadh or according to the charter of the GCC.”
The US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said that the United States has one goal: drive terrorism off the face of the Earth. He quoted the US President Donald Trump: “Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil”, and said that the agreement the agreement that has been signed on behalf of the governments of Qatar and the US represents weeks of intensive discussions between experts and reinvigorates the spirit of the Riyadh summit. 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.
Tillerson said 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.