Doha and Washington are celebrating 50 years of strong bilateral relations.
Qatar is marking 50 years of strong bilateral relations with the United States since the establishment of diplomatic ties on March 19, 1971.
Both countries remain mutually invested in continuous dialogue, partnership and long-term cooperation. In a press briefing on Thursday, the US embassy in Qatar’s Charge d’Affaires Natalie Baker stressed that the bond between Washington and Doha has ‘never been stronger,’ highlighting the efforts that took place throughout the years to address regional and global challenges.
Underlining the robust ties, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was the first Arab leader to be invited by US President Joe Biden for a state visit to the White House, during which both leaders discussed ways to enhance cooperation and solve regional issues.
Such efforts are expected to further deepen in the coming years, according to the official, who emphasised the strong friendship between the two states in commercial ties, cultural exchanges and security collaboration.
“Bilateral cooperation between the US and Qatar on trade, education, humanitarian assistance and security has broadened and deepened significantly in recent years,” said Baker.
“Our partnership continues to deepen and diversify as together we work to achieve Qatar’s ambitious Vision 2030 goals.”
Last year, Qatar showcased its reliability as a strategic ally to the US by evacuating tens of thousands of Afghans from Kabul, facilitating history’s largest airlift to help both refugees and US citizens flee Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.
The Gulf state evacuated more than 70,000 Afghans and foreigners from the country and served as a prominent mediator between the Taliban-led government and the Biden administration.
The two countries also signed an agreement last year during the latest Strategic Dialogue, that enables Doha to represent Washington’s interest in Afghanistan.
The Gulf nation has further contributed to maintaining stability in the region through various initiatives, such as providing lifesaving assistance to Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere in the Occupied Territories and facilitating various regional peace talks within its borders.
“This will confer on Qatar a variety of military and financial advantages not otherwise available to non-NATO partners. The Bilateral Security Partnership has been central to many of our most vital interests,” the envoy said, adding that such designation reinforces the strong military and security relationship between the two countries.
Both states are working together to show solidarity and support to the people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine as they face Russian aggression, which the state official described as ‘unprovoked’.
“We’re equally appalled by Russia’s brutal tactics and its blatant disregard for innocent lives. The Qatari foreign minister has spoken with secretary Blinken a number of times since the beginning of this conflict. We share goals of trying to resolve this situation diplomatically,” the official said when asked about the roles of both countries in the ongoing invasion.
The United States is the leading equipment supplier and partner for Qatar’s oil and gas industry, the official highlighted, adding that US companies play a significant role in the development and expansion of the oil and gas sector.
The war in Ukraine, however, has raised major concerns amongst Western nations regarding global energy. In total, an estimated 40% of their supplies come from Russia, whilst almost a third of those shipments pass through Ukraine.
As a response to the Russian brutality in Ukraine, the Biden administration imposed a ban on all Russian oil and gas imports earlier this month. This caused gas prices in the US to witness a great spike, echoing worries from the public.
The Gulf state and the US have been in talks about the possibility of rerouting the country’s gas exports through Doha. At the end of this month Doha Forum will be taking place, which is a global platform for dialogue, bringing together leaders in policy to discuss critical challenges facing our world, and where special US energy envoys will be present to discuss ways to secure resources.
In recent years, Doha has welcomed various exchanges in cultural envoys in several fields, including music, food, the arts and science.
The United States has also been recognised as the guest of honour for Qatar Museums’ 2021 Year of Culture, elevating cultural tires between the two countries.
Baker stated that such efforts aim to further enhance diverse people-to-people connections, promote intellectual and intercultural dialogue and build bridges between both nations.
Qatar and the US share strong economic ties that have expanded significantly over the years. Washington imports liquefied natural gas, aluminum, fertilisers, and sulfur from Doha, whilst the Gulf nation has billions of dollars invested in the US.
The US is also the largest foreign direct investor and second-largest source of imports.
“Just this week we witnessed Microsoft and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launch the Digital Centre of Excellence at Msheireb, that’s a launching pad for next-generation skilling for people of the US and here in Qatar,” Baker said.
The official further highlighted that US companies have seen a boom in export sales to Qatar’s defence, aviation, health care, ICT, food, engineering and construction sectors.
The envoy stressed the US’ strong commitment to expanding close interagency cooperation with Qatar, to ensure a safe and successful 2022 FIFA World Cup.
This has been done through various collaborations in cybersecurity, law enforcement training, public relations, human rights and a carbon-neutral footprint for the tournament.
“We congratulate Qatar for its innovative preparations thus far and will continue to support the Supreme Committee on Delivery and Legacy in advance for the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar,” she said.
“The US also welcomes the opportunity to consult Qatar in advance for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup, which will be hosted in North America, across Canada, the US and Mexico. We recognise that we have a lot to learn from the Qataris and that collaboration and lesson learning have already begun.”