Tag Archives: Kuwait

The US, Qatar join hands to disable terror financing flows


Newsroom24x7 Staff

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.





World leaders condemn the latest terror attacks

Newsroom24x7 Desk

terror attacksNew Delhi/Kuwait/Washington DC: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the lose of lives, in the attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the cowardly attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia”, the Indian Prime Minister said in a statement adding the progress of humanity lies in peace, brotherhood and non-violence, not in hatred, terror and mindless violence against others”.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Premier and Defence Minister Prince Mohammad bin Salman has denounced the deadly attack on Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in the Sawaber area of Kuwait City The Saudi prince said his country stands united with Kuwait and its people.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in a statement on Friday’s suicide attack in Kuwait said: “On behalf of the Asian Olympic and sports family, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences on this tragedy to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti government and the Kuwaiti people.”

The White House in America described the attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia and France as ‘heinous acts of terror’. The United States has condemned in the strongest possible terms yesterday’s horrifying terrorist attacks in France, Kuwait, Somalia, and Tunisia, where dozens of innocent civilians – and in the case of Somalia, Burundian peacekeepers – were killed and injured.

Making this statement at the daily press briefing here on Friday, US Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby said: ” The United States grieves with the people and governments of Burundi, France, Kuwait, Somalia, Tunisia, and other nations affected by these vicious attacks, and stands with them in solidarity as they reject terrorism, protect their communities, restore peace and security, and persevere through these tragedies.

Kirby reiterated that the US would continue to work with all its allies and partners to address the shared threat of terrorism and violent extremism and to degrade and destroy the ability of these terrorist groups to carry out their callous attacks on innocent people.

Answering a question on these attacks , Kirby said there is a common thread of terrorism throughout them. Back in January, he told journalists, The Us did issue a worldwide caution about travel in particular and that stands and stays in effect. “In Kuwait our post there did put out an updated note to U.S. citizens there to avoid the area of the mosque that was targeted”, he said adding: “I don’t believe there are plans to issue a new warning with respect to these attacks.”

we’ve been very clear about the growing menace of ISIL in North Africa and Libya specifically. We know that this is a group that wants to metastasize beyond Iraq and Syria, though Iraq and Syria remain the principal theater in which they continue to influence and operate. And – but this has been a constant area of focus for us, not just – frankly not just in North Africa, but around the world.

On the issue of combating the ISIL menace, Kirby said “the degree to which we’re cooperating with those Kurdish fighters in northern Syria has been limited principally to airstrikes, and we continue to conduct airstrikes in Syria against ISIL positions. And I think that those strikes will continue, and that’s basically, in essence – that’s where that cooperation (between United States and Kurdish forces in northern Syria) stays.”

Kerry talks of effective diplomacy for potential solutions ahead of Camp David

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir looks on as U.S. Secretary of State addresses reporters during a news conference at Riyadh Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 7, 2015, following meetings with King Salman bin Abdelaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and the Foreign Minister.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir looks on as U.S. Secretary of State addresses reporters during a news conference at Riyadh Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 7, 2015, following meetings with King Salman bin Abdelaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and the Foreign Minister.

Riyadh: Hectic discussions between the leaders of the five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates — are continuing ahead of Camp David Summit next week.

After the Gulf Arab summit in Riyadh on May 5, the GCC foreign ministers are meeting in Paris today to draw the final agenda for next week’s GCC Summit at Camp David [†] being hosted by US President Barack Obama and also to to define the precise details and the date of the commencement of a proposed 5-day blanket ceasefire in Yemen.

The Riyadh Summit was also joined by French president Francois Hollande. France has been a tough negotiator during the ongoing talks for a nuclear deal. As a major arms supplier, France also has huge stakes as a supplier of arms to the Gulf states.

On May 6, US Secretary of State John Kerry was also engaged in bilateral talks with the the Saudi leadership. They discussed the threat to Saudi Arabia emanating from Yemen and about U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to find a peaceful resolution to this crisis.

At the the Riyadh Air base last evening,addressing the media jointly with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir,  the US Secretary of State told journalists that King Salman has announced a conference in Riyadh and all Yemeni parties were being invited for this crucial meeting. Extending support to this initiative, Kerry expressed the hope that it could lead to subsequent talks under the UN auspices, and the dialogue would be beneficial to find a political resolution to the (Yemen) crisis.

Praising Saudi Arabia and King Salman, for the decision to provide $274 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen, Kerry also acknowledged in positive terms Salman’s announcement for a transition from the initial phase of the military campaign to a political and humanitarian phase.

Kerry, who met exiled Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Riyadh, said that the Houthi (rebels) did not choose to be part of the (peace) process. “Therefore, the conflict continued and forces on the ground continued to fight, and Saudi Arabia responded, Kerry went on to observe.

Welcoming the new Saudi initiative to try to bring about a peaceful resolution through the announcement of their intent to establish a full, five-day renewable ceasefire and humanitarian pause, which would mean “no bombing, no shooting, no movement or repositioning of troops to achieve military advantage, understanding”, Kerry added there has to be an understanding that needs to be reached that neither party is going to exploit the humanitarian pause. So, Kerry, made a strong plea to the Houthis and also those who back them, not to miss this major opportunity to address the needs of the Yemeni people and find a peaceful way forward in Yemen. A ceasefire has been a longstanding goal of the international community, and we deeply respect the leadership in Saudi Arabia for stepping up, taking on this initiative, and saying to the world they’re prepared to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Yemen, Kerry said.

Ahead of today’s Paris meet, Kerry said that there will be several days between today’s announcement (for a ceasefire in Yemen) and the actual start of the ceasefire in order to allow time for the international community to prepare the food, the medicine, and the other supplies for distribution so that it can be done in an orderly and efficient process once the ceasefire does take effect. All this would be possible only if the Houthi accept the conditions, he added.

Kerry categorically said that the United States remains deeply concerned about the situation on the ground in Yemen and fully support efforts to facilitate the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid. The international community and the United States will redouble efforts to stop arms flows into Yemen, consistent with the UN Security Council resolutions. So the bottom line is that all parties agree to the ceasefire before more lives are lost.

Kerry made an appeal to everyone, especially the Houthis – to cooperate with the UN’s new Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. This is a time for effective diplomacy for potential solutions.

During bilateral talks with Saudi leadership, Kerry also discussed the potential Iran nuclear deal and ways in which the United States and Saudi Arabia can cooperate to go forward. Kerry informed the media that throughout the P5+1 negotiating process, the US has been constantly consulting with Saudi Arabia. This matter will come up for further discussion in Paris today.

Kerry also spoke about “Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region”. We will continue to work with our friends and allies in the region to define America’s and the GCC’s security relationship going forward, he said asserting it is so important that Iran not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.

Kerry said that he and his Saudi counterpart Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir also discussed the situation in Syria, and the progress in their shared fight against Daesh. He went on to affirm that Daesh’s forces are increasingly under strain, its leadership has been degraded, their communications have been interrupted, their manner of operating has been changed, and its hateful ideology is increasingly being discredited.

When asked by a journalist whether there was any guarantee that Iran would stop supporting terrorist activities in the region, Kerry said the United States is deeply concerned about Iran’s activities in the region and was enforcing the United Nations arms embargo requirements. The US is also raising the level of effort of the maritime initiative with respect to the Gulf. Most recently, the Theodore Roosevelt has also been moved in. One of the topics of conversation, in the context of Paris tomorrow and Camp David, will be the further steps that the US will be taking with its allies to prevent activities that are in contravention of many United Nations resolutions and also the norms of international behavior between countries. He emphasised the point that the US is very much concerned about those activities – in Iraq, with Hizballah, in Yemen, and elsewhere.

Responding to a query by another journalist, the Saudi Foreign Minister al-Jubeir said with regard to Iran that it should have no role in Yemen. Stating that Iranian role in Yemen has been a negative one, he pinned Iran on a numer of counts saying they have supported the Houthis financially, ideologically, as well as with weapons, and this is not helpful. They have tried to smuggle weapons into Yemen in the midst of this conflict, and we have been able to stop aircraft from landing in Sana’a airport. And the United States has been able to turn back a flotilla of Iranian ships, which we suspect were loaded with weapons that were intended to go to the Houthis.

With respect to Syria, Kerry said, nothing has changed in the United States position. President Assad has been engaged – barrel bombing innocent women and children, gassing his people, torturing people, engaging in starvation as a tactic of war where innocent civilians are trapped – there are so many different things that have happened that have torn this country apart, that has seen three quarters of the country displaced for a refugee status…it’s hard to imagine how anybody in that country could follow that person in the future or deem them to be a legitimate leader.”

We believe Assad has lost all legitimacy, and we also know that the only way to make peace ultimately is to take away the reason that people are at war. And the reason they are at war is because of Assad, Kerry stated.

[†] President Obama will welcome leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – to the White House on May 13 and to Camp David on May 14.