Rabat - As part of US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson’s trip to Qatar, in an effort to help boost blockade negotiations, the two countries announced on Tuesday that they have brokered a deal to control “terrorism financing.”
Rabat – As part of US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson’s trip to Qatar, in an effort to help boost blockade negotiations, the two countries announced on Tuesday that they have brokered a deal to control “terrorism financing.”
Although lauded as a great effort “to track down and disable terror financing,” both nations were careful to emphasize that the deal was “not related to the recent crisis and the blockade imposed against Qatar.”
According to Tillerson, “Today, Qatar is the first country to sign a memorandum of agreement with the US, and we call on the countries imposing the siege against Qatar to join us as signatories to this MOU.”
“The US has one goal: To drive terrorism off the face of the Earth,” Tillerson said, adding that “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.”
Tillerson’s visit to Qatar is part of a 4-day tour of the region to re-ignite effective negotiations following Qatar’s official rejection of the list of 13 demands presented to them by the bloc on June 22. Qatar publicly declared the demands unworkable and claimed they had been deliberately designed to be impossible for Qatar to meet.
In fact, the severity of the demands and the long delay in presenting them to Qatar, led the US State Department to declare it was “mystified” and openly contemplate the true motivation for the blockade. Qatar declared its innocence from the outset of the crisis, claiming the blockade was really an attempt to punish Qatar for its independent foreign policies and to oppress freedom of speech in the region.
The US Secretary of State described his role on this tour being “to support the efforts of the emir of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti mediator to bring what we can to the discussions to help both sides more fully understand the concerns of the relative parties and also point out possible solutions to those.”
In an interview with Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Shafeeq Gabra, a professor of political science at Kuwait University, postulated that Tuesday’s agreement between the US and Qatar would help ease tensions in the Gulf.
“It will make the US and Qatar closer,” he said. “It will allow the Americans to clearly say they can see through what Qatar is doing regarding at least one major accusation from the countries that imposed the blockade – terrorism.”
For his part, when approached by reporters regarding a timeline for a possible solution, Tillerson avoided any specifics, instead choosing to view the process as an ongoing discussion. Last week, the US State Department publicly stated that a solution could still be months away.