Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar's emir, stated during a US Treasury Department dinner attended by president Donald Trump on Monday night that his country and the United States “are working together to eradicate terrorism and its financing, wherever it may take root.”
Before his meeting with Trump, Tamim said this remarks despite deep concerns in the US and the Gulf region about Qatar’s support for terrorist groups and the Iranian regime. Al-Thani hosted last month Hamas leaders at his Al Bahr palace.
Qatar News Agency then reported that Hamas representatives “expressed their deep thanks and appreciation to the Emir for Qatar’s continued support to the Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza. For his part, the Emir stressed on Qatar’s firm position in supporting Palestinians and their just cause.”
Doha also supported the Muslim Brotherhood, which is not listed as foreign terrorist organization yet. The White House said in April it was looking into the possibility of designating it as such. In his comments at the Treasury Department, al-Thani alluded to the disputes in the Gulf region, though without naming countries involved.
Qatar's emir highlighted a “strong economic partnership” between Qatar and the US, then added “unfortunately, there are some in my region who do not share our beliefs. In today’s world, at times, alliances have to be made with necessary partners, and certain allies are not actually friends. But with the United States and Qatar, we are partners, allies and friends.”
He alleged: “Qatar and the U.S. are working together to eradicate terrorism and its financing, wherever it may take root, to ensure a more peaceful and secure world.”
In the past, Trump has openly criticized Qatar’s behavior. Two years ago, speaking at the White House shortly after participating in a U.S.-Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh, he said, “the nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.” He recalled that concerns about Qatar had been raised at the summit in Riyadh, and said he had decided that “the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding. we want to see Qatar back among the unity of responsible nations.”
Before Tuesday’s meeting at the White House, conservative and other voices have been calling the president for raising concerns about Qatar’s troubling behavior.
Trump received a letter from the former US ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission, Ken Blackwell, Tea Party Patriots president Jenny Beth Martin, and Americans for Limited Government president Rick Manning pointed to Qatar’s funding of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The letter said: “A nation who supports these types of terrorist organizations cannot consider itself a U.S. ally and that message should be delivered firmly”.
Emirati Gulf News stated in an article that the solution of Qatar’s regional isolation was simple: “Doha must acknowledge its indiscretions and desist from supporting, aiding and abetting terrorists and extremists.”