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Members of Congress criticize U.S. policy toward Qatar

Thu, Nov. 23, 2017
CAIRO – 23 November 2017: Members of Congress have criticized the recent announcement made by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin which explains that the U.S. and Qatar have reached an understanding regarding attempts to curb the illicit financing of terrorism, according to CNN.

The members of Congress are calling on Trump’s administration to take a tougher stance against Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas. They sent an official letter to Mnuchin on Monday criticizing U.S. policy toward Qatar.

"We are deeply concerned that this joint statement omitted any mention of Hamas," they wrote, calling Qatar's capital, Doha, "a sanctuary to Hamas terrorist officials."

Another group of representatives sent a letter to Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, criticizing her for saying Qatar does not support Hamas.

Despite senior Hamas leaders’ residence in Doha and the financial support Qatar provided to the Gaza Strip where Hamas is active, Qatar denies its support to Hamas, which the U.S. considers as a terrorist group.

Speaking in an interview with U.S. TV network MSNBC, Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, stated that the propaganda war that accuses Qatar of financing terrorism is baseless.

In addition, Al-Thani emphasized during an interview with a Washington, D.C., think tank on Monday that Qatar's support is transparent and for the people of Gaza only.

Over the summer, the senate passed a bill that accused Qatar of providing Hamas military and financial support, CNN stated.

The Trump administration is trying to reach a solution for the Gulf crisis as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conducted a diplomatic trip around the Arab region in July, seeking to ring the two sides together, but the crisis has not been resolved.

In October, Qatar agreed to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation with U.S. to combat illicit funding of militant groups.

Qatar is keen to show its attitude towards terrorism after it was cut off by the Arab Quartet on June 6 for supposedly financing terrorist groups and allying with Iran, allegations which Doha denies.
 
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