April 10 (UPI) — President Donald Trump met with Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani at the White House on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Trump and Al-Thani touted the two nations’ military partnership and its deterrence of terrorism, despite the president’s June 2017 comment that Qatar “historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.”
Around the time Trump made that remark, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and other nations suspended diplomatic relations with Qatar over its supposed backing of terrorist groups.
Almost a year later, though, Trump appeared satisfied on Tuesday with Qatar’s efforts to divest from those organizations.
“A lot of countries were funding terrorism and we’re stopping it,” Trump said. “It’s getting stopped and fast. Very important. And you’ve now become a very big advocate, and we appreciate that.”
Al-Thani distanced his country from any relationship with militant groups.
“We do not and we will not tolerate … people who fund terrorism,” he said. “We’ve been cooperating with the United States of America to stop funding terrorism around the region.”
Al-Thani, who also visited U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., during his trip to the U.S., said the military cooperation between the two nations is “very solid, very strong.” One day after the State Department approved a $300 million military sale to send rockets and other equipment to Qatar, Trump praised the country’s willingness to buy military equipment from the U.S.
“[Qatar makes] a lot of purchases in the United States, and [buys] a lot of military airplanes, missiles — lots of different things,” Trump said. “But they’ve been great friends in so many ways. We’re working very well together, and I think it’s working out extremely well.”