Qatar agrees to crack down on terrorism financing following Mnuchin visit
Qatar has agreed to bolster cooperation with the United States to constrain terrorism financing following a meeting between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Qatari officials.
Mnuchin and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “reaffirmed the joint efforts between Qatar and the United States to defeat terrorism and its financing,” according to a joint statement Monday.
The U.S. and Qatar agreed to substantially increase the sharing of information on terrorist financiers in the region, “placing greater emphasis on charitable and money service business sectors in Qatar,” Mnuchin said in the statement.
The talks in Doha also led the two countries to agree to take joint actions against terrorist financiers.
Qatar Minister of Finance Ali Shareef Al Emadi, meanwhile, called the talks “highly productive,” and said Doha is working closely with the United States to enforce financial sanctions against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other terrorist groups.
Mnuchin – who visited Qatar as part of a week-long trip aimed at reining in terrorist group financing – also visited Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also visited Qatar last week in an attempt to play mediator in the Gulf crisis, which began in June when a Saudi Arabia-led group of countries, including Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE, cut ties with Qatar and imposed a de facto blockade.
The Saudi-led group accused Qatar of backing terror groups, which it denies. The countries are also bothered by Qatar’s relationship with Iran.
But Doha is home to al-Udeid Air Base, the United States’ largest base in the Middle East. The base is also the forward headquarters of Central Command and the staging area for much of the war against the Islamic State ISIS.