Republicans question Trump’s secret agreement with Qatar



Fri, 22 Dec 2017 - 11:24 GMT


Fri, 22 Dec 2017 - 11:24 GMT

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in New York U.S. September 19-2017 - REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in New York U.S. September 19-2017 - REUTERS

CAIRO – 22 December 2017: Four Republican members of Congress said that Trump administration's secret agreement with Qatar to fight terrorism must be declassified so that the public can see what the Persian Gulf nation promised, and whether it is holding up its end of the deal, Newsweek reported on Thursday.

“The American people have a right to know what steps Qatar’s government is taking to deter Islamic terrorism,” Republicans Jim Banks, Ron DeSantis, Scott Perry, and Robert Pittenger wrote in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on December 14 which was only made public on Wednesday, Newsweek added.

“The decision to classify the document while publicly praising Qatar’s progress toward upholding its contents makes it impossible for the public to judge Qatar’s compliance,” they wrote.

The United States and Qatar signed an agreement in July aimed at combating the financing of terrorism, after the Arab Quartet cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar.

The lack of transparency calls that agreement into question and pushed congressmen and lawmakers to demand that the Trump administration be stricter with Qatar regarding the flow of finance to terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani - July - Qatar - Reuters

“Last month, the State Department allowed lawmakers to view the U.S.-Qatar Memorandum of Understanding once, in the Special Compartmentalized Information Facility inside the office of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. The lawmakers stated that the document does not appear to contain classified or sensitive information,” The Washington Post reported.

Qatar and the U.S. negotiated the referendum after Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain announced they are severing relations with Qatar over "its continuous support for terrorism," closing their airspace and seaports for Qatari transportation in June.

President Sisi (L) and King Salman (R)- File photo

Egypt said in a statement that diplomatic relations have been suspended over Qatar's support for the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

"Qatar is promoting the terrorist ideology of Daesh (Islamic State militant group) and Al-Qaeda groups, and supports the terror attacks in Sinai," the statement added.

“Protecting national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism, Saudi Arabia has decided to cut diplomatic ties and consular relations with the State of Qatar,” announced the Saudi Foreign Ministry in a statement.



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