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Trump Applauds Qatar's Efforts to Stop Funding Terrorism


President Donald Trump shakes hands with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the Oval Office of the White House, April 10, 2018, in Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday applauded Qatar's efforts to stop funding terrorism, nearly a year after accusing the Persian Gulf country of funding extremism at a "high level."

Trump's remarks came as he met at the White House with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Since Trump's past criticism of Qatar, the country has engaged in an aggressive campaign to rebuild its reputation in the U.S. and prove it is a dependable ally.

"You've now become a very big advocate, and we appreciate it," Trump told the emir in the Oval Office. "A lot of countries were funding terrorism and we're stopping it. It's getting stopped and fast."

A year ago, Trump joined Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in adopting a hard line against Qatar, maintaining the country needed to weaken relations with Iran and stop funding terrorism.

Trump had initially advocated for an economic blockade on Qatar, but aides eventually convinced him to take a more moderate approach given the strategic importance of the Al Udeid Air Base outside Doha in U.S. Middle East operations.

The emir said, "We do not and we will not tolerate with people who fund terrorism. We've been cooperating with the United States of America to stop funding terrorism around the region."

The year-old regional crisis, marked by neighboring countries cutting air, sea and land links to Qatar, continues. Over the months, the Trump administration has pushed for a resolution to the crisis, especially after an early effort to mediate a resolution lost momentum.

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