US Ambassador to United Nations make about turn, says Qatar does not fund Hamas

US Ambassador to United Nations make about turn, says Qatar does not fund Hamas

QLReporter
By QLReporter

Nikki Haley, the USA’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has corrected the statements she made before Congress this summer regarding Qatar funding the Hamas movement.

The respected politician is now saying that Qatar is not funding the Hamas movement — the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, reported Buzzfeed News.

Haley’s reversal, which is contained in a memo to Congress, comes at an important time when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is seeking to unite competing factions in the Trump administration behind a common policy in the high-stakes Gulf crisis.

Ever since the illegal siege of Qatar began on June 5, senior Trump officials have taken different sides in the feud, leading to overall confusion, according to Gulf Times.

President Donald Trump and key aides, including Haley and then-chief strategist Stephen Bannon, initially viewed the dispute as an ‘opportunity’ to pressure Qatar on its alleged support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood (which Qatar denies).

Meanwhile, Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis view the blockade as a threat to both stability in the region and the US air base in Qatar.

On June 28, Haley repeated the claim that Qatar was ‘funding Hamas’ during a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, prompting written follow-up questions from congressional staff asking if the United States is aware of Qatari government payments to the group. She responded in writing this month, saying the US is not, reported The Peninsula.

“While Qatari government doesn’t fund Hamas, it does allow Hamas political representatives to be based in Qatar, which Qatar believes limits Iran’s influence and pressure over Hamas,” Haley said in the memo to House lawmakers.

“Qatar has committed to take action against terrorist financing, including shutting down Hamas bank accounts,” she added.

Analysts said the revised remarks expose the disconnect between State Department policy and White House rhetoric surrounding the diplomatic dispute.

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