The visit of the Emir of Qatar to the White House .. Learn about the stations of US-Qatari relations
The visit of the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to the United States is a new stop on the road to building and strengthening strategic cooperation and continuous consultation between the two countries to serve their common goals and interests, and contribute to achieving stability, regional security and global peace.
The visit of the Emir of Qatar to the United States coincides with the two countries’ preparations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between them, knowing that the historical roots of the informal relations between them date back to the thirties of the last century with the beginnings of the emergence of oil in the Arab Gulf region.
The two countries established a solid base for distinguished regional and international political relations, in addition to understandings, agreements, and a deep economic, investment, security and societal partnership. Doha has become an indispensable center in the US strategy in the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean.
Continuous consultation is a distinctive feature of the relations of the two countries, and the American circles always praise the position that Qatar enjoys and the pivotal roles it plays in the region in the interest of regional and international stability and the promotion of international peace and security.
Bilateral relations have strengthened and grown in strength and depth over 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 United States and other international partners around the clock to evacuate tens of thousands from Afghanistan, including American citizens, students and Afghan staff. and their families and journalists from all over the world.
Major Milestones in Qatar-US Relations
- 1972: Official relations between the two countries began after the independence of Qatar, although relations between the two countries existed intermittently long before this date, since 1934.
- The Gulf region, including Qatar, formed an important station for the United States after the first discoveries of vast oil reserves in the early 20th century, and Washington sought to develop ties with the government of Qatar.
- The United States built a modern hospital, the first of its kind, in Doha, in cooperation with the American mission mission, which was in Bahrain, Kuwait, and some Gulf countries in the 1940s.
- Relations between Qatar and the United States continued to expand during the seventies and eighties, despite the emergence of some obstacles that were dealt with with high diplomacy.
- 1991: Qatar-US relations significantly improved, which led to the conclusion of a defense cooperation agreement in 1992 between the two countries.
- The relationship became more important when the inauguration of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, where thousands of American soldiers are currently stationed, and is today the center of American operations in the Middle East, began.
- 1997: The first visit of the former Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to the United States was followed by other official visits at various levels, taking the relations between the two countries to greater heights.
- The United States is the largest foreign investor in Qatar’s oil and gas sector.
- 2015: The two-way trade volume between the United States and Qatar reached more than $5 billion.
- US exports to Qatar include aircraft, automobiles, machinery, electrical equipment, optical and medical devices, and pharmaceutical products, and US imports from Qatar include fertilizers, aluminum, and liquefied natural gas.
- The volume of trade exchange between Qatar and America is increasing annually and steadily, as they are linked to strong economic and trade relations, as the United States is one of the most prominent trading partners of Qatar, which was evident in the establishment of the two countries in recent years by the Joint Business Council, which aims to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries,
- More than 120 American companies operate in Qatar, and there are about 700 joint ventures.
- The Open Skies Agreement was signed between the two countries in 2001 and the number of flights between the two countries has increased nearly 10-fold over the past decade.
- Four rounds of strategic dialogue have been held between the two countries since 2018 until now.
- January 2018: The first edition of the Strategic Dialogue was held between the two countries with the aim of strengthening cooperation in the areas of regional security, defense, education, culture, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, trade cooperation, energy and labor issues.
- January 2019: The second edition of the strategic dialogue between the two countries was held in the Qatari capital, Doha, during which the strength of bilateral relations and the opportunities available to both countries were highlighted. The two sides signed 3 memoranda of understanding and a statement of intent between the two countries, as part of efforts to confirm their long-term commitment to strengthening partnerships current.
September 2020: The third edition of the Joint Strategic Dialogue was held, and the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on education, culture and sports, in addition to signing a declaration of intent setting 2021 as the American-Qatari Year of Culture, in addition to a declaration of intent for the State of Qatar to host an investment forum in the United States in 2021.
- November 2021: Fourth Strategic Dialogue was held during which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on cooperation in the temporary hosting of individuals at risk due to the situation in Afghanistan, an agreement on the exchange of information related to travel visas, as well as discussion of labor issues, human rights, human trafficking and military and security cooperation .
- Bloomberg recently reported that US administration officials are talking with their counterparts in Qatar and other countries about the possibility of supplying Europe with natural gas if the Russian invasion of Ukraine leads to a shortage of supplies, as Qatar is spending nearly $30 billion to increase its capacity. Productivity increased by 50%, but the project is not expected to start its first production until the end of 2025.
- Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of gas, and one of the largest producers of liquefied natural gas, with about 3 quarters of the fuel sold to energy-poor Asian countries such as Japan and Korea, and Qatar provides about 5% of natural gas in Europe.
- 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 United States from Afghanistan in 2021, as well as the signing of an agreement on Qatar’s sponsorship of American interests in Afghanistan, which reflects Washington’s confidence In the efficiency of Doha diplomacy.
- The United States and Qatar stand together to support global health security, and during the copy of the Strategic Dialogue, they discussed opportunities for technical exchange and cooperation in the health field, such as the technical exchange between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health.
- During copies of the Strategic Dialogue, both governments highlighted their strong bilateral security partnership, including in the areas of cooperation in law enforcement, aviation, border security as well as countering violent extremism, countering terrorism and terrorist financing, in addition to Qatar’s pledge of $75 million over 5 years to support the work of the Office United Nations Counter-Terrorism.
- As Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the two countries committed to expanding close interagency cooperation to ensure a safe and successful tournament, as well as cooperation in cybersecurity and law enforcement training as well as public relations and human rights, in addition to a carbon-neutral World Cup. The United States has the opportunity to consult with Qatar ahead of the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup in North America.
- The Qatar-US Cultural Year 2021 was a fruitful initiative that contributed to strengthening relations between the two countries through a wide mix of exhibitions, festivals, bilateral artistic exchanges and events, and 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 that will continue. For many years, its impact extends far beyond cultural exchange, as it consolidates bilateral relations, and emphasizes mutual cooperation and common visions for the future.