US-Qatar discuss various aspects to strengthen bilateral relations

US-Qatar discuss various aspects to strengthen bilateral relations

F.P. Report

WASHINGTON DC: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani led the fourth U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue on November 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. 

A testament to our strong partnership, this year’s dialogue addressed regional and global issues, and advanced bilateral cooperation in the areas of health, humanitarian assistance, international development, labor and human rights, security cooperation, climate change, trade and investment, culture, and education.  The United States and Qatar signed several accords, including an Arrangement on the Protection of U.S. Interests in Afghanistan and an MOU on Cooperation to Host Individuals at Risk Due to the Situation in Afghanistan.

Regional Cooperation and Global Affairs

Underscoring deep cooperation on regional issues, U.S. and Qatari officials discussed challenges in Afghanistan and the extraordinary teamwork between the two countries on the relocation to the United States, through Qatar, of more than 60,000 U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, Special Immigrant Visa holders and at-risk Afghans.  Both sides discussed political developments in the region, including in Syria, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa.  The United States and Qatar remain deeply concerned about the West Bank and Gaza, will continue to work together to improve humanitarian and economic conditions for all, and discussed the importance of achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The United States highlighted Qatar’s bilateral and multilateral humanitarian assistance efforts, including its collaboration with UN agencies in the form of a $500 million multi-year assistance pledge to aid forcibly displaced populations and refugees.

Health Cooperation

The United States and Qatar stand together in support of global public health security.  During the Strategic Dialogue, they discussed opportunities for technical exchanges and discussed collaboration in health such as technical exchanges between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar. The United States again thanked Qatar for its generous contributions to fight COVID-19 inside the United States.

Labor and Human Rights Issues

Qatar and the United States recognized recent progress made by Qatar to combat human trafficking and advance labor rights.  The United States recognized Qatari Ministry of Labor Undersecretary Mohammed al-Obaidly, who was recently named by the U.S. Department of State as a Trafficking in Persons Report Hero. The two sides discussed professional training and exchange for Qatari authorities in 2022.  Qatar and the United States discussed human rights and welcomed one another’s election to the Human Rights Council.

Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism Partnership

The two governments highlighted their strong bilateral security partnership, including in the areas of law enforcement cooperation, aviation and border security, countering violent extremism, and combating terrorism and the financing of terrorism. The governments noted the importance of continuing to expand information sharing and law enforcement cooperation.  Qatar and the United States highlighted the successful coordination between our governments in joint designations of terrorist networks.  The United States underlined Qatar’s commitment in providing $75 million over five years and implementation of efforts to back the work of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism.

FIFA Men’s World Cup 2022

As Qatar prepares to host the FIFA Men’s World Cup in 2022, the United States and Qatar committed to expanding close interagency cooperation to ensure a safe and successful tournament. The two sides discussed cybersecurity, law enforcement training, public relations, human rights, and a carbon neutral World Cup.  The United States welcomed the opportunity to consult with Qatar in advance of the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup in North America.

Economic and Commercial Cooperation

The United States and Qatar discussed opportunities to increase two-way investment and advance economic relations in the fields of innovation, technology, and clean energy. Both sides also explored programs to support women’s economic empowerment and support for young entrepreneurs.

Climate Change and Energy

As major energy producers, both countries reiterated their joint commitment to strengthen global climate action. They agreed to work across the region to promote energy access and support clean energy transition. The United States and Qatar reaffirmed their mutual efforts to support access to affordable, dependable, and clean energy, and highlighted their recent decisions to join with other global oil and gas producers in establishing the Net-Zero Producers Forum.

Education and Cultural Cooperation

The two governments underscored the importance of deepening people-to-people ties to promote tolerance and diversity, and agreed to expand professional and research-led academic exchanges. They welcomed continued coordination as the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture concludes in December.

Military and Security Partnership

The two governments reaffirmed the commitment made in the 2018 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation to promote peace and stability, to counter terrorism, and to grow the enduring U.S.-Qatar defense partnership. The U.S. delegation expressed appreciation for Qatar’s generous hosting of U.S. forces, cooperation on Afghanistan operations, and efforts to upgrade critical facilities and infrastructure at Al Udeid Air Base to meet current and future challenges.  The delegations discussed the robust Foreign Military Sales relationship, which continues to increase the capability, capacity, and interoperability of the Qatar Armed Forces.

Forward Together

Qatar and the United States remain mutually invested in continuous dialogue, partnership, and long-term cooperation. The two sides welcomed the opportunity to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Qatar in 2022. As a first step, the United States unveiled drawings of the new U.S. embassy compound, which will be built in the coming years in Doha.  Qatar and the United States look forward to reviewing progress and exploring new areas of cooperation at the next Policy Working Group meeting in spring 2022.

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