After several Arab countries came out against Qatar last month, the United States announced they have signed a document with Qatar in which Qatar pledged to join the fight against, and stop its funding of terrorism. Yet, Qatar claims the signing and the sanctions are unrelated.

Qatar promises US to fight terrorism

Qatar promises US to fight terrorism Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The US and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding today (Tuesday), according to which Qatar promises to fight terrorism and stop its financial support of terrorist organizations. According to a report released by one of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s senior aides, the understandings with Qatar were reached during Tillerson’s visit to Doha.

According to the report, the two countries signed a memorandum “outlining future efforts Qatar can take to fortify its fight against terrorism and actively address terrorism funding issues.”

Tillerson arrived in Doha in the midst of a crisis between Qatar and a number of its neighboring Gulf states which imposed sanctions on the former. The US secretary began his tour with a stop in Kuwait, which until now had been the primary mediator between the two sides. In a meeting with the Emir of Kuwait, Tillerson stated his goal was to find a way forward.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Tillerson is also expected to visit Saudi Arabia, where he will update the Saudi government on the understandings reached with Qatar. The sanctioning Sunni states have 13 chief demands for Qatar, including the ending of relations with Tehran and financing terrorist organizations, including Hamas.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani urged other countries to sign the memorandum as well. “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,” he said. However, according to the Sheikh the signing is “not related to the recent crisis and the blockade imposed against Qatar.”