US, Gulf States, sign deal to end financing for terror
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US, Gulf States, sign deal to end financing for terror

Trump and Gulf Cooperation Council reach 'farthest reaching commitment' to prosecute those funding terrorists

US President Donald Trump (C) and Saudi's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C-R) pose for a picture with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)
US President Donald Trump (C) and Saudi's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C-R) pose for a picture with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Sunday with leaders of the oil-rich Gulf monarchies to cut funding for terrorism, a day after Washington told their arch rival Iran to dismantle its “network of terrorism.”

White House adviser Dina Powell told reporters that a memorandum of understanding signed by Trump and leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council represents the “farthest reaching commitment” to not finance terrorist organizations.

She said it includes a pledge to prosecute the financing of terrorism, including individuals. The memorandum also calls to establish a center to combat the financing of terrorism, Saudi official news agency SPA reported.

Along with the US, the participants included Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The meeting took place on the second day of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, part of his first foreign tour since taking office, hours before his address an Arab Islamic American Summit.

The White House did not immediately release a text of the agreement.

US President Donald Trump (C) attends a meeting with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN)
US President Donald Trump (C) attends a meeting with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN)

Trump and the GCC leaders watched as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exchanged documents.

Most GCC monarchies accuse Tehran of meddling in their internal affairs and want Washington to be tougher with Iran, which secured a landmark nuclear deal with world powers when Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama was in office.

They consider Tehran to be a destabilizing factor in the region.

US First Lady Melania Trump (L) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) chat with Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Interior, Muhammad bin Nayef Abdulaziz, at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
US First Lady Melania Trump (L) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) chat with Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Interior, Muhammad bin Nayef Abdulaziz, at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Saturday demonstrated a tougher position on Tehran, saying multi-billion-dollar defense deals signed with Riyadh aim to protect Saudi Arabia from a “malign Iranian influence.”

In a joint news conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir, Tillerson urged newly re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to dismantle his country’s “network of terrorism” and end “ballistic missile testing.”

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