President Donald Trump is hosting the ruling emir of Qatar for a White House meeting Tuesday, who has since taken steps to address United States concerns, even allowing Treasury Department officials into its central bank to improve accountability to prevent terror funding. In a phone call last week, Mr. Trump credited the emir with working to counter terror financing and extremism.
Qatar's neighbors had also been infuriated by its willingness to host dissidents from across the Gulf and to allow broadcasts critical of them by Doha-based Al Jazeera. "We are cooperating with the United States of America to stop funding of terrorism around the region". Qatar denies all those charges.
Drawing a line under a spat that called into question the future of a key USA air base in the Gulf State, Trump hosted Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in the Oval Office.
"He's a friend of mine" Trump said effusively.
The two sides also affirmed their shared commitment to continued security cooperation, as the United States announced to sell Qatar Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) for an estimated cost of 300 million US dollars also on Monday.
Nor was it clear what gave the president any reason to be optimistic the Gulf crisis will end any time soon.
The visit comes after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - thought to be one of the main instigators of the crisis - made a two-week tour of the United States and had a more awkward meeting with Trump on the issue of arms sales. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the laser-guided rockets would help Qatar modernize its military and wouldn't alter the basic military balance in the region.
The leaders are set to carry a gathering and dealing lunch that the White Home mentioned would concentrate on strengthening ties, together with safety and financial points.
Qatar has long sought to stress its role as an agreeable USA partner in a strategically vital region.
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