Last year, Washington named Qatar as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA), a move that analysts said reflected the strengthening ties between the two countries.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and congressmen from the United States discussed the strengthening of strategic cooperation in Doha on Sunday.
According to Qatar’s state news agency (QNA), the American delegation that visited Doha included Republican Representative of Louisiana Julia Letlow, Republican Representative of Texas Lance Gooden, and Democratic Representative of Texas Jasmine Crockett.
The President of the US-Qatar Business Council and former member of the US Congress Scott Taylor were in attendance.
QNA reported that the meeting dealt with “prospects for strengthening and developing” ties between Doha and Washington and issues of common concern.
The latest meeting comes days after the two countries discussed shared priorities and potential areas of cooperation in a meeting in Doha.
The previous meeting saw the attendance of Qatar Fund for Development, the US State Department, and the US Agency for International Development.
It was also part of the fifth US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue.
Ties between Doha and Washington have continued to reach new heights over the years.
Last year, the US named Qatar as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA), a move that analysts said reflected the strengthening ties between the two countries.
The designation provides Washington’s foreign partners with several benefits in areas concerning defence, trade and security cooperation.
President Joe Biden noted last year that the designation was a recognition of Qatar’s role as a reliable ally, especially given its major efforts in 2021 in light of the Taliban takeover of Kabul.
At the time, Qatar and the US cooperated in mass evacuations of Afghans and foreigners.
The Gulf state carried out history’s largest airlift of people by evacuating at least 80,000 Afghans and foreigners.
In 2021, the US Congress issued a statement calling on legislators to include Qatar in the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2022. The move reflected the strategic importance of the Gulf state’s role in the Middle East.
The Gulf state hosts the Al-Udeid Airbase, the largest American military post in the Middle East, which is used extensively by the US for its operations in the region.
In November last year, the US approved the potential sale of an anti-drone system to Qatar for $1 billion.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the Pentagon said it “delivered the required certification” to Congress over the possible sale, which includes 10 unmanned defensive drone systems along with 200 interceptors.
The drone’s principal contractors will be Raytheon Technologies Corp, SRC and Northrop Grumman Corp.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” the defence department stated.