Trump Now Sees Qatar as an Ally Against Terrorism

Push for local products ‘Qatari Potatoes Festival’ launched

The pair also "discussed obstacles to restoring unity in the Gulf Cooperation Council", the statement added, a clear reference to the diplomatic feud between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

The package of missiles planned to be sold to Qatar contains about 5,000 Advance Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS), including 5,000 high explosive warheads.

Trump administration allies and national security insiders have been voicing concerns about an upcoming meeting between President Trump and the Emir of Qatar, a chief terror financier in the region that has been clouded in controversy following disclosures it funded a spy operation on USA citizens and hacked the email of an administration ally, according to multiple sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Less than a year ago, Trump stood in the Rose Garden and chided the tiny gas-rich nation for historically funding terror at a "high level", as he broke with his secretary of state by siding against Qatar in its row with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other neighbors.

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Saudi Arabia and others have continued squeezing the country diplomatically and financially with a partial blockade, arguing those steps were wholly insufficient to address their long list of demands on Qatar, which included shutting down Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

But the USA president has since softened his language against Doha and praised its counter-terrorism efforts.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani addresses allegations the country supported terrorism.

President Donald Trump is welcoming the ruling emir of Qatar to the White House. Qatar denies that charge but has taken steps to address US concerns.

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The APKWS guidance kit transforms an unguided 2.75-inch (70 millimeter) rocket into a precision-guided rocket, giving fighters a low-priced surgical strike capability. In a phone call last week, Mr. Trump credited the emir with working to counter terror financing and extremism. "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!" he said last June. He says Trump's role "is very vital to end the crisis in the region".

The year-old regional crisis, marked by neighboring countries cutting air, sea and land links to Qatar, continues.

The emir met US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday and is due to meet Trump on Tuesday.

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