JUST IN: U.S. strikes deal with Qatar


The US and Qatar signed a “memorandum of understanding” deal Tuesday, in an effort to fight terrorism in a country that has been accused of funding various terrorist operations. A senior adviser to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the agreement would help Qatar to “fortify its fight against terrorism and actively address terrorism funding issues.”

Tillerson announced the agreement in a joint press conference with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed al-Thani, as part of his dispute settlement campaign in the Middle East this week.

“I’m hopeful we can make some progress to bring this to a point of resolution,” Tillerson said. “I think Qatar has been quite clear in its positions and I think very reasonable and we want to talk now how do we take things forward and that’s my purpose in coming.”

Tillerson also met with Kuwait’s acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah as well as British National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill in Kuwait Monday, in order “to explore the art of the possible of where a resolution can be found,” and look for “areas of common ground where a resolution can stand,” according to State Department spokesmen R.C. Hammond.

The meetings stem from conflict with Qatar, who the Gulf countries cut ties with due to suspicion of terrorist funding.

“We’ve had one round of exchanges and dialogue and didn’t advance the ball,” Hammond told reporters on Monday. “We will work with Kuwait and see if we can hash out a different strategy. … This is a two-way street. There are no clean hands.”

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