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Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after a meeting with Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari, Ambassador of Qatar to the United States:  
“Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Kuwari and I discussed the range of pressing issues impacting the Middle East and U.S. national security, including the release of five senior Taliban leaders to Qatar, the assault on Iraq by an al-Qaeda off-shoot, and financial support flowing to a range of violent Islamist groups from the region.
“In particular, I conveyed to the Ambassador my deep concern about the U.S. release of these five Taliban leaders.  The one-year travel ban negotiated by the Obama Administration is thin protection for their would-be victims in Afghanistan. It’s impossible for me to see how they don’t rejoin the fight in short order.   
“I pressed the Ambassador to ensure that his government is using every tool at its disposal to prevent these extremists from meeting or communicating with other radicals, or those who support them, or raising funding of any kind while in Qatar.  Nothing keeps the Qatari government from going beyond the security arrangement it negotiated with the United States for these committed killers.  It should.  
“The Ambassador agreed that his government must redouble its efforts to curb the reported flow of financial support from his country to extremist groups around the region and that Qatar’s close cooperation with the United States and other friends of Syria is critical.”