Qatar Flag - File photo
CAIRO – 23 October 2017: Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom will hold a conference called “Countering Violent Extremism: Qatar, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood” on Monday; the conference will discuss Qatar's troubled relationship with its Arab neighbors which was the result of its bonds with Iran and funding terrorism.
The institute, one of the oldest decision-making centers in the U.S., will sponsor the day-long conference at the Ronald Reagan Building and the International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
Many American officials will attend the conference including former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency David H. Petraeus, former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, and Senator Tom Cotton.
The conference will discuss Qatar’s double standards where the state is known for funding terrorists, supporting Iran and Al-Jazeera, which incites violent and terroristic ideas; while, at the same time, hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East and signed an agreement with the U.S. to combat terrorism.
Consequently, one of the topics that will be tackled during the conference is the U.S. administration’s call to reveal the content of the memorandum of understanding; signed between Qatar and the U.S. in July.
The memorandum outlines future efforts that Qatar can exert to fortify its fight against terrorism and actively address its terrorism funding issues. This initiative aims to bring a point of resolution between Qatar and the Gulf countries.
News of the memorandum of understanding comes as Qatari officials are pushing back against the campaign led by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
U.S. President Donald Trump, after initially appearing to support the effort to isolate Qatar, has called for mediation and recently predicted a rapid end to the crisis.
If the agreement's content is not revealed, the conference will send a message to Qatar urging them to either end its alliance with Iran or bear its consequences.
This conference will be held in light of President Trump’s stance against Iran’s regime, and his move to impose penalties on it; listing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization and cancelling the nuclear deal with Iran. Iranian policies pose threats to the region, as the state is trying to topple the Yemeni government and the monarchy in Bahrain, and fight U.S. interests in the region.
In addition, the conference will focus on the different terrorist groups that have been discovered after Trump offered a reward in return for information on the leaders of Hezbollah; intending to arrest them under the premise that they pose a threat to U.S. security.
A chaptered educational documentary, “Qatar: A Dangerous Alliance,” will also screen during the conference.
This documentary will feature some of the world's leading experts in Middle East policy, international terrorism, and finance; and will provide a more thorough understanding of the current crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), where allies and neighbors of Qatar have sanctioned the Gulf state.
Without high hopes of a breakthrough, one of the recent U.S. mediators in the Gulf crisis, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, launched a fresh bid on Sunday to ease the crisis between Riyadh and Doha; both allies of Washington.
Apart from the months-long crisis, Iran's rising influence in the Middle East is also expected to occupy a high position on the agenda of America's talks in the two capitals.
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