US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday hailed the strength of ties between the US and Qatar, expressing his confidence that the relations are set to grow further over the coming years.
Blinken made a statement to mark the 50-year anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between the US and Qatar.
“Fifty years ago, United States Ambassador William Stoltzfus presented his credentials to the government of Qatar, initiating the diplomatic relationship between our two countries. In the time since, that relationship has steadily grown stronger, spanning shared security and economic interests, cooperation on regional challenges, and deepening ties between our people,” he said. “Qatar has generously hosted US forces at Al Udeid Air Base since 1996, where Qataris and Americans continue to train together; provided aid to Americans after hurricanes Katerina and Harvey, and so much more,” he added.
He highlighted the strong economic ties the two sides enjoy, which exceeds $200 billion in trade and investments, in addition to strong educational ties with six American universities opening campuses in Qatar’s Education City.
“Today, our countries work side by side on regional challenges like countering ISIS and working to improve the lives of the Palestinian people; and global challenges, like tackling COVID-19 and the climate crisis,” he said.
He highlighted how the events in Afghanistan have played a major role in reinforcing the two countries’ partnership. “Qatar played an indispensable role in the transit of more than 70,000 Americans, legal permanent residents, and Afghans to the United States,” he said. Blinken also said that the two sides continue to work together to address the humanitarian needs of people in Afghanistan.
“We were pleased to recognize this exemplary cooperation and deepen it, by designating Qatar as a Major Non-NATO Ally earlier in the year,” Blinken said.