Qatar, US Underline Strength of Bilateral Relations, Keenness on Developing Them Further

The State of Qatar and United States reiterated the depth and importance of the strategic relations between the two countries, and their keenness on developing the cooperation to wider horizons to serve the mutual benefits of both sides.

Qatar and the United States affirmed the importance of the second round of Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue in Doha, which reflects the historic relations between the two countries and contributes to developing the cooperation in all fields.

HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said in a joint press conference with HE US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that Qatar's partnership with the US is strong and is based on solid foundations and built on mutual understanding and common interests.

During the press conference, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his first visit to Doha to participate in Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue, which reflects the historic relations between both countries and the alliance built over the past decades.

His Excellency said that the Strategic Dialogue included seven sessions covering the economic, commercial, cultural, education, political, defense and sports relations between the two countries.

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that three agreements were signed in the framework of the Strategic Dialgoue today in the fields of education and culture, as well as a memorandum of understanding on supporting defense activities in Al Udeid Air Base.

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani expressed the hope that Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue has tangible results, and for the relations to see a qualitative leap.

His Excellency noted that he had held a bilateral meeting with HE the US Secretary of State where they discussed all issues of interest to both countries, especially those related to the region and its security starting with the GCC, the peace process in the Middle East, the reconciliation process in Afghanistan and other issues such as the Syrian crisis and combatting terrorism.

His Excellency said the State of Qatar looks forward to a new and stronger phase of bilateral relations between both countries, and to continue coordination on all issues of mutual concern.

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that Qatar is still concerned with the mediation processes it has led and is still leading. His Excellency added that the Qatari diplomatic activity is ongoing through conferences and diplomatic work which work on major issues such as the Qatari mediation in the Darfur region of the Republic of Sudan, which is still ongoing and continuous in urging the parties to resort to the Doha Peace Agreement. In addition, the Afghani reconciliation issue where Qatar is hosting Taliban's political office and is working with the US to achieve peace in Afghanistan, as well as the ongoing consultations with the US, alliances and friends from other countries on a number of issues related to Syria and the Middle East peace process said.

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated that diplomacy is the choice to resolve crises and to put an end to the humanitarian suffering that people are going through, which is the common denominator between the policies of the State of Qatar and US.

For his part, HE US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the State of Qatar is a great friend of the United States, expressing appreciation for the relations between the two countries.

HE US State Secretary referred to what US President Donald Trump said, when he hosted HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the White House last year, that there are special things that are happening in the bilateral relations between the two countries including cooperation in combating terrorism, and illegal trafficking in persons, as well as cybersecurity and other areas.

He pointed out that the agreements signed today between the State of Qatar and the US deepen bilateral relations, noting that the focus was first and foremost on the security and defense partnership, where the signing of a new memorandum of understanding on expanding the US presence at Al Udeid Air Base, which was discussed last year, stressing the importance of this base as an important key to the US defense security.

HE US Secretary of State commended Qatar's commitment to improving and modernizing Al Udeid Base while praising the State of Qatar's contribution as a member of the coalition to defeat ISIS.

He also referred to the memorandum signed between the State of Qatar and the United States in the field of combating terrorism and its financing, as the US-Qatar efforts helped in better targeting of the financing of terrorism.

Furthermore, HE Mike Pompeo stressed the importance of unity among the GCC members, a topic he raised during his current tour of the region.

In this context, he stressed the importance of cooperation among the countries of the region and left differences aside to achieve the required strength to meet the challenges and achieve common goals. He pointed out that the disputes between the GCC countries do not allow the building of alliances or making a strong and flexible response to deal with common challenges and enemies, stressing the importance of the unity of the GCC states during the next phase.

He pointed out that besides security and defense issues, he discussed the areas of trade, investment and Qatari efforts in promoting transparency and protection of foreign workers.

HE US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underlined that the resignation of General Anthony Zinni, the US' special envoy to resolve the Gulf crisis, does not reflect any change in US policy, efforts and strategy in the Middle East or its commitments to the region, adding that the US continues its strong dialogues with various countries of the crisis.

On the "Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East" to be held in Poland's Warsaw, US Secretary of State said that this conference will work to provide security for this region and the world by discussing many things, stressing that the coalition that continues to fight ISIS around the world will be part of that. He added that countries from Asia, Africa, and all across the world will participate in the conference, pointing out that it will work on many issues, including how to get the Islamic Republic of Iran to behave properly, and addressing its regional influence as well as discussing other important issues.

He noted that the US is the largest aid provider in the world, not only with regard to the number of funds but that the US team continues to make sure to respond to humanitarian challenges wherever they occur.

Regarding the US position on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, HE US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that the conversations continue with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, adding that this issue will be raised in the talks to be held with the Saudi side during his visit to the Kingdom.

HE US Secretary of State said, with regard to the GCC, "we're all more powerful when we're working together when disputes are limited, and when we have common challenges in the region and around the world, disputes between countries that have a shared objective are never helpful. They never permit you to have as robust a and powerful a response to common adversaries or common challenges as if, as you might when countries have a dispute between them. We see this all the time. We have lots of places where we're building out coalitions and there are challenges between different parts of the coalition. It's something we work through, work around, and we're hopeful that the unity of the GCC will increase in the days and weeks and months ahead."

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs