Qatar’s Emir visits US airbase on anniversary of Sept. 11 attack
Qatar’s strong military relationship with the US was emphasized yesterday when the Emir paid a rare visit to the Al Udeid Air Base.
The base, located southwest of Doha, is the largest such US facility in the region, hosting 10,000 troops.
The visit coincided with the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York. It also came as Qatar works to prove it is serious about fighting terrorism, despite accusations to the contrary by its neighbors.
According to Qatar’s Ministry of Defense, Sheikh Tamim inspected the Qatari Emiri Air Force and the Combined Air Operations Center for US Central Command during his visit.
While there, he was also briefed on military strategy and shown combat aircraft, helicopters and vehicles.
The Emir also met with Commander of the US Air Forces Central Command Lt. Gen Jeffrey Harrigian and several other senior US officers.
Together, they reviewed “joint Qatari-US military defense cooperation, as well as the mutual cooperation between the two countries in combating terrorism,” QNA said.
The meetings come some 100 days after Qatar’s neighbors instituted a diplomatic and economic boycott against the nation.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE have accused Qatar of financing terrorism, a charge it denies.
As a key ally to many of the countries involved, including Qatar, the US has been attempting to mediate the feud, along with Kuwait.
But so far, the efforts have not yielded any tangible results.