US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Image Credit: AFP

DOHA: Qatar has agreed to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation with the United States to crack down on illicit financing of militant groups, a joint Qatari-US statement said on Monday following a visit by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Mnuchin’s visit to Doha marked the end of a week-long trip aimed at curbing terrorist financing. There were earlier stops in Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where the US in May announced the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, a US-Gulf initiative to stem finance to militant groups.

Following talks with Qatari officials in Doha, Mnuchin said the two countries had agreed to “substantially increasing the sharing of information on terrorist financiers,” with “greater emphasis on charitable and money service business sectors in Qatar,” according to the statement.

Qatar in July signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States to increase cooperation on fighting terrorism finance and was one of six Gulf nations last week to announce sanctions on 13 individuals said to be Al Qaida and Daesh terrorists.

Qatar hosts Udeid Air Base, the largest US military facility in the Middle East, from which US-led coalition aircraft stage sorties against Daesh in Syria and Iraq.