The latest meeting comes after the US designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) in January.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and his US counterpart Antony Blinken discussed relations and global developments during a meeting in Washington on Monday.
The issues that topped the meeting’s agenda were the worsening situation in Afghanistan, ongoing war in Ukraine and the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Pleased to meet my friend [Antony Blinken] to discuss the nuclear negotiations, the situation in Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine and regional issues. I stressed the importance of our bilateral relations and look forward to our 5th strategic dialogue to consolidate what has been achieved,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed.
The Qatari diplomat, however, did not mention further details regarding the date and place of the strategic dialogue.
The fourth Qatar-US strategic dialogue took place in Washington in November last year.
Before their meeting, the US official praised Doha and Washington’s diplomatic ties and close partnership. Blinken also said he looks forward to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, where Team USA will be playing.
In response to Blinken, Sheikh Mohammed invited him to the Gulf state to attend one of the matches.
“Of course, we wish all the good luck for the US team in the World Cup in Qatar, 2022, and I invite you to one of the matches, to go there together and enjoy the football,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
Sheikh Mohammed also met with the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power. During the meeting, they discussed cooperation between the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and the American entity.
The latest meeting comes after US President Joe Biden designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) in January, marking a key development in the two countries’ ties.
The US president announced the decision during Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s visit to Washington, making him the first Gulf leader to enter the Biden White House.
“I designated Qatar as a Major Non-NATO Ally in recognition of our strong partnership over 50 years. We reaffirmed our unwavering interest in promoting security and prosperity in the Gulf and Middle East region,” tweeted Biden at the time of the visit.
The designation came following Qatar’s pivotal role last year after the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on 15 August. At the time, Qatar managed to carry out history’s largest airlift of people by evacuating more than 70,000 Afghans and foreigners from the country.
The Gulf state also moved the US embassy from Kabul to Doha to allow it to carry out its diplomatic operations. During the latest Strategic Dialogue, Qatar and the US signed an agreement under which the former can represent Washington’s interest in Afghanistan.
This also came following dialogue between the US and the Taliban, facilitated by the heavyweight mediator in Doha, 2020. At the time, under the Donald Trump administration, the two warring sides agreed to set a deadline for the conditional foreign troop withdrawal from Kabul.
The date was changed from 1 May to 31 August by President Biden, without a plan while making the withdrawal unconditional.
Qatar had also hosted talks between the former Afghan government and the Taliban.
Qatar’s Special Foreign Ministry Envoy for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, had said that the talks would have continued if former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani did not flee the country.
With Afghanistan suffering from a worsening humanitarian crisis following years of war and drought, Qatar has been keen on providing it with much-needed aid.
Meanwhile, talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear accord, technically referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), remain ongoing.
The indirect talks between the US and Iran initially kicked off in April last year in Vienna with the participation of the p4+1—the UK, France, China, Russia plus Germany. Progress was seen during the first round, with Washington and Tehran agreeing to form two working groups.
One group was dedicated to the lifting of crippling US sanctions on Iran, as the other focused on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme. The talks later stalled, with more sanctions imposed on Iran.
Tehran also enriched its uranium at 60% in response to a series of attacks on its nuclear sites, including the Natanz facility. The blame was pointed to Israel for its opposition to the revival of the JCPOA.
Israel’s claims over Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon are not new and have been repeated consistently in recent decades in a bid to maintain its military power in the region while continuing to occupy Palestine without a threat.
Tel Aviv itself has nuclear weapons.
Iran maintained that the enrichment was to manufacture radiopharmaceuticals, rejecting claims of its development of a nuclear weapon.
Since the beginning of this year, there have been more positive statements by officials at the talks regarding the restoration of the historic accord, but the talks have appeared to face a stalemate with the US and Iran unable to reach an agreement.
Qatar has been holding talks with the two countries in an effort to bridge their differences, stressing the need to revive the JCPOA.
Commenting on the Gulf state’s role, Sheikh Tamim told the World Economic Forum (WEF) that the country is not an official mediator.
“Iran is our next-door neighbour. We have a good understanding and good relationship with Iran, and our role is trying to help and to encourage all parties to come back to this agreement,” he said.
Speaking to Al Jazeera on Monday, Sheikh Mohammed also said that Qatar’s efforts compliment the Vienna talks.
Meanwhile, the ongoing war in Ukraine remains a major issue of common concern.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Qatar has called for a peaceful resolution to end the war while stressing the importance of dialogue.
It also continued to express its support for UN Charters, stressing the importance of respecting each country’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
In April, Qatar allocated $5 million in aid to Ukrainian refugees through the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) during a virtual Donors’ Conference for Ukraine.
Last week, Sheikh Mohammed renewed the Gulf state’s readiness to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
In March, Sheikh Mohammed met with Lavrov in Russia, where the two discussed the the latest developments. In a joint press conference, the Qatari FM condemned “everything to the contrary” of the UN Charter.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the conflict internally displaced more than eight million people in Ukraine and turned more than six million into refugees.
Meanwhile, the UN reported that the total civilian casualties reached 9,197 on 2 June. A total of 4,183 people, including 67 children, have been killed in Ukraine, between the start of the invasion and the reported period.
However, the actual figure is feared to be higher as the war in Ukraine continues to claim the lives of more innocent civilians.