British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing pressure to use his upcoming face-to-face meeting with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, to demand an end of Qatar’s alleged funding of terrorists, The Telegraph reported on Sunday.
The newspaper said Cameron has been urged to press Sheikh Tamim to act against “jihadi financiers in Qatar”.
The Emir’s visit to the UK comes amidst allegations that the rich Gulf nation is secretly financing the Islamic State, an extremist group that has taken over many areas in Iraq and Syria.
It is essential for Cameron to raise the issue of terror financing with the Emir, Conservative MP Stephen Barclay said. “As part of these discussions it is essential that the issue of financing Sunni tribes in Syria and Iraq is raised… it remains unclear whether money is still flowing from Qatari nationals,” Barclay said.
“There is clear evidence that Qatari nationals have been instrumental in the financing of Sunni terror groups and the Prime Minister should not avoid tackling this issue head on with the Emir”.
Former foreign secretary,Sir Malcolm Rifkind, also joined the call.
Rifkind said the meeting should be a “perfect opportunity” to tell the Qataris they could no longer “run with the hare and hunt with the hounds”.
Qatar, a strong supporter of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, has denied it is funding extremist and terrorist groups in the Middle East.
“We don’t fund extremists. If you talk about certain movements, especially in Syria and Iraq, we all consider them terrorist movements,” Sheikh Tamim told CNN last month.