Trump extols Qatar on anti-terror efforts

Trump extols Qatar on anti-terror efforts

Trump extols Qatar on anti-terror efforts

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis welcomed Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, to the Pentagon to reaffirm the strategic security partnership between the US and Qatar. "He's a great gentleman".

Abdulaziz bin Hamad al Ageel, GOIC secretary general, said that the meeting will bring together Gulf businesspersons, investors, entrepreneurs, speakers and experts.

The president previously sided with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other neighbors that had accused Qatar of spreading extremism, fomenting regional unrest and allowing funds to flow to terror groups. That put him at odds with Rex W. Tillerson, then his secretary of state, who sympathized with Qatar as it endured the Saudi-led boycott. The country hosts some 10,000 US troops at al-Udeid Air Base, a key command center for USA forces in the Middle East, and has been building new facilities for USA troops there at Qatari expense in a bid to make it more comfortable for the Americans.

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Trump seems to have moderated his stance in recent months and during the meeting eased tensions by mentioning Saudi Arabia and the UAE as other past sponsors of terrorism.

President Trump says the US and Qatar are continuing to work closely on ensuring terrorism funding is halted in the Middle East, although he once accused the nation of Qatar of funding terrorism at a "high level." .

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"You've now become a very big advocate, and we appreciate it", Trump told the emir in the Oval Office.

The US State Department has given the green light to a $300 million sale of guided missiles to Qatar as Persian Gulf Arab states are stepping up purchasing state-of-the-art weaponry amid their diplomatic standoff.

"Our economic partnership is more than $125 billion and our aim and goal is to double it in the coming years", he said.

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His visit comes after Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman conducted a successful three-week U.S. visit.As a warmup to the visit, the State Department approved the sale of 5,000 Advance Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) to Qatar, including 5,000 high explosive warheads.

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