U.S. to deploy officials in Qatar state prosecutor’s office

The United States will post officials at the Qatari state prosecutor’s office as part of a Qatari-U.S. agreement signed this month to fight the financing of terrorism, people familiar with the matter said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reached the deal with Qatar during a round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at ending a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

The agreement has not been approved by the four U.S.-allied Arab states which accuse Doha of aiding terrorists, charges Qatar denies.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar last month, saying the gas-rich Gulf state finances Islamist militants throughout the region.

No details about the contents of the agreement signed by Tillerson and his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, have been publicly released.

But a Western official in the Gulf who has seen the document said it specifies actions Qatar will take by the end of the year, including placing two U.S. Department of Justice officials in Qatar’s general prosecution.

“They will work hand in hand with Qatar to charge individuals accused of financing terrorists,” said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Other actions in the agreement include imposing travel bans, enforcing surveillance, and freezing the assets of individuals with suspected links to terrorism. The accord points to internationally agreed definitions of terrorism without specifying particular groups.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman declined to comment.

A Qatari official said that the country’s general prosecutor would be working with U.S. officials but that the terms of the cooperation had not been finalized.

The deal suggests White House officials hope to use the Gulf crisis over Qatar as a way to stem alleged financing flows from the wealthy region to terrorist groups.

“It’s a very strong agreement. If followed, this should achieve exactly what Trump requested in the Riyadh summit,” said the Western official.

Reuters

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