Qatar, United States have Gone Beyond Partnership Towards Permanent Alliance

Qatar, United States have Gone Beyond Partnership Towards Permanent Alliance By A Robin - March 19, 2022
Qatar Amir with US President

Qatar Amir with US President

The United States of America designating Qatar as a major non-NATO ally was not a coincidence, but rather, it was the culmination of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which officially began in 1972, bearing in mind that the historical roots of the informal relations between the two countries date back to the thirties of the last century with the emergence of oil in the Arab Gulf region.

On Saturday, the State of Qatar and the United States will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, in light of a strong and growing strategic partnership in all fields.

The relations between the two friendly countries have been further strengthened with the continuation of mutual visits between them at the highest levels. In this context, the visit of HH the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa A -Thani to the United States in 1997 was the beginning, and it was followed by other official visits at various levels, taking the relations between two friendly countries to broader prospects.

The two countries have succeeded in establishing a solid base for distinguished regional and international political relations, as well as understandings, agreements, and a deep economic, investment, security, and societal partnership, and Doha has become an indispensable center in the US strategy for the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean.

In the context of the keenness to strengthen relations between Doha and Washington, HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has paid multiple visits to the US capital and they have become permanent and continuous. These visits are highly welcomed by various US circles and receive great attention from them. Senior officials and personalities from both sides exchange visits regularly to follow up the prospects of bilateral cooperation on all political, economic, commercial, investment, health, cultural, and other levels.

The working visit of HH the Amir to Washington in February, and the discussions that took place with HE President Joe Biden and a number of senior officials of the American administration were a distinguished station in the course of relations between the two friendly countries, as they moved the strategic partnership between them to a new stage, and opened broad prospects for developing bilateral cooperation for the benefit of the two countries and their friendly nations, consolidating regional security and stability, maintaining global peace and contributing to solving regional issues, of which the Palestinian issue comes in the forefront.

During the visit, the US President praised the prominent and positive Qatari role in the region and also announced the classification of the State of Qatar as a major non-NATO ally of the US, which is an important American appreciation for the distinguished role played by the State of Qatar. It also came as a culmination of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and the successive achievements of these relations for the sake of international security, peace and stability, and the advancement of the strategic partnership between the two countries in various political, economic and military fields.

Speaking at the beginning of his meeting with HH the Amir at the White House, HE President Biden welcomed HH the Amir, saying, "Today - but I'm honored to be here with a good friend, who has been wonderful - relationship since I've been President, and then before. Your Highness the Sheikh - I want to welcome you to the White House."

HE President Biden praised the two countries' 50-year partnership, which last year topped many US interests, including evacuating tens of thousands of Afghans and maintaining stability in Gaza by providing life-saving assistance to Palestinians and dealing with threats in the Middle East, and many more.

HE President Biden also welcomed the deal concluded by Qatar Airways Group with Boeing, considering it one of the largest deals ever signed by Boeing and will create tens of thousands of rewarding job opportunities in the United US.

The years 2020 and 2021 witnessed a new impulse of US-Qatari interdependence, especially with the success of Qatari diplomacy in reaching an American agreement with the Taliban in 2020, which led to the withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan in 2021, as well as the signing of an agreement on Qatars sponsorship of US interests in Afghanistan, which reflects Washingtons confidence of the efficiency of Doha diplomacy.

Bilateral relations between Doha and Washington have also strengthened and grown during the past year, as a result of the evacuation efforts undertaken by the State of Qatar from Afghanistan, as it has worked closely with the US and other international partners around the clock to evacuate tens of thousands from Afghanistan, including American citizens, Afghan students, Afghan staff and their families, and journalists from all over the world.

The Qatari-US relations have witnessed qualitative leaps over the past few years in the fields of trade, education, humanitarian aid, security, and defense. The efforts made by the State of Qatar culminated in the signing of the Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue, which inaugurated a new era of relations between the two countries.

This dialogue is considered one of the strongest indicators of the strength of the Qatari-American relations and the keenness and strong desire to support and strengthen them in all fields. In its fourth edition, it addressed regional and global issues and the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in health, humanitarian aid, international development, human rights, regional cooperation, and climate change, as well as trade, investment, culture, and education.

In the framework of this dialogue, the State of Qatar and the US also signed several agreements, including arrangements for protecting American interests in Afghanistan and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation to host individuals at risk due to the situation there.

The volume of trade exchange between Qatar and the US is increasing annually and steadily, as they are linked to strong economic and trade relations, as the US is one of Qatar's most prominent trading partners, which was evident in the two countries' establishment in recent years of the Joint Business Council, which aims to facilitate trade and investment exchange between Qatar and America. The United States is the largest foreign investor in the State of Qatar and one of the main equipment suppliers to the Qatari oil and gas industry. American companies play an important role in developing the oil, gas, and petrochemical sector in the country, especially in recent years, as the State of Qatar has been on top of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world.

The size of the economic partnership between the two countries exceeds USD 200 billion, and the State of Qatar has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the American economy, which provides tens of thousands of jobs throughout the US, and more than 120 companies wholly owned by the American side operate in the Qatari market, along with 640 companies established in partnership between the Qatari and American sides. The US is the fifth trading partner of the State of Qatar.

The Qatar-US Year of Culture 2021 was also a fruitful station that contributed to strengthening relations between the two countries through a wide mix of exhibitions, festivals, bilateral artistic exchanges, and events. It was a meeting point for the ties that unite the two peoples in many fields of innovation, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and education, which will remain a legacy. It will continue for many years and its impact extends beyond cultural exchange as it strengthens the bonds of bilateral relations and emphasizes mutual cooperation and common visions, now and in the future.

American universities receive hundreds of Qatari students each year, and six of them have opened branches in Education City in Doha, including Weill Cornell, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon and Northwestern.

During the fourth round of the strategic dialogue, the two countries, as energy producers, also expressed their common commitment to promoting global climate action. They agreed to work to advance energy access and support the clean energy transformation, reaffirming their joint efforts to obtain affordable, reliable, and clean energy. They highlighted their recent decisions to join other global oil and gas producers to create the Net Zero Emission Forum.

The State of Qatar and the US stand together to support global health security. During their strategic dialogue, they discussed opportunities for technical exchange and cooperation in the health field between the concerned authorities in the two countries. The US thanked the State of Qatar once again for its generous contribution to combating COVID-19 within the US.

As the State of Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, both Doha and Washington are showing their commitment to expanding close cooperation between agencies to ensure a safe and successful, carbon-neutral tournament, and the US has welcomed the opportunity to consult with Qatar ahead of the launch of FIFA World Cup 2026 in North America. 


By A Robin - March 19, 2022

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