The U.S. and Qatar signed an agreement on combatting terrorism and its financing during a visit to Doha by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Mr. Tillerson’s senior adviser, R.C. Hammond, told reporters on Tuesday: “Qatar and the U.S. have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining future efforts Qatar can take to fortify its fight against terrorism and actively address terrorism funding issues.
“This is a hopeful step forward.”
NAN report that Tillerson told reporters in Doha on Tuesday that Qatar had “reasonable” views in the month-old diplomatic row with Arab neighbours and he was hopeful of progress toward a resolution.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt imposed sanctions on June 5, accusing Qatar of financing extremist groups and allying with Iran, the Gulf Arab states’ arch-foe, something it denies.
“I am hopeful we can make some progress to begin to bring this to a point of resolution,” Tillerson said alongside his Qatari counterpart Mohammed Abdulrahman.
“I think Qatar has been quite clear in its positions, and I think those have been very reasonable,” Tillerson said.
The U.S. worries the crisis could impact its military and counter-terrorism operations and increase the regional influence of Iran, which has been supporting Qatar by allowing it to use air and sea links through its territory.
Qatar denies that it supports militant organisations and says the boycott is part of a campaign to rein in its independent foreign policy.
Mr. Tillerson and British National Security Advisor, Mark Sedwill, met on Monday with officials from Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator, in order to patch up the row among the Western-allied countries.
The State Department said Mr. Tillerson was also expected to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Following those discussions, the U.S., Britain and Kuwait urged all parties to resolve their dispute quickly through dialogue.