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U.S. Orders Al Jazeera Affiliate to Register as International Agent

He added, of Al Jazeera, “they’re actually not as essential as they assume they’re.”

Qatar and the U.A.E., neighbors on the Persian Gulf, have been embroiled in a bitter geopolitical rivalry for a number of years. Three years in the past, the U.A.E. imposed a blockade on the small nation together with regional allies Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Among the many U.A.E.’s complaints with Qatar’s authorities is its funding of Al Jazeera, whose main, Arabic-language tv community was sympathetic to protesters within the area in the course of the Arab Spring of 2011.

A media marketing consultant for the Embassy of Qatar in Washington declined to remark. However an official with information of the matter mentioned the administration’s order shocked Qatari diplomats who discovered of it although information reviews on Tuesday.

Marc Raimondi, a Justice Division spokesman, declined to verify the letter’s existence however mentioned, referring to the group liable for imposing the overseas brokers regulation, “FARA Unit’s enforcement actions are based mostly on following the details the place they lead and the relevant regulation.”

The letter was despatched to AJ+ on the identical day that Qatar’s deputy prime minister and prime diplomat, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, met with prime Trump administration officers for an annual strategic dialogue between the 2 international locations. As a part of the talks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo endorsed efforts for a “2021 Qatar 12 months of Tradition” that may promote cultural exchanges with the USA.

“Our partnership has grown past simply protection and economics into one among true friendship and group between our folks and our two international locations,” Mr. Pompeo mentioned Monday, at first of the bilateral dialogue.

The talks themselves targeted on a spread of points on which the 2 international locations agreed to cooperate, together with counterterrorism and army, well being points, investments and enhancing civil society. The blockade towards Qatar was additionally among the many discussions, Mr. Pompeo mentioned.

“The Trump administration is keen to see this dispute resolved and to reopen Qatar’s air and land borders at the moment blocked by different Gulf States,” Mr. Pompeo mentioned. “I stay up for progress on this situation.”

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