HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed that the 4th strategic dialogue between the State of Qatar and the United States of America represents another milestone in the strong historical partnership between the two countries.
His Excellency pointed out that the flourishing relations between the two countries, which were enabled by the mutual commitments between HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and HE President of the United States of America Joe Biden, are manifested not only in the scope of the cooperation, but also through the deep friendship between the two countries.
His Excellency said, in a speech during the opening session of the 4th Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue, in the American capital, Washington, that the two countries are partners in defense, security, investments, education and energy, and are international leaders in the fight against terrorism, because the friendship between the two countries extends through decades.
His Excellency went on saying that this year, the friendship between the two countries was further strengthened by the State of Qatar's evacuation efforts from Afghanistan, as Qatar worked closely with the United States and its international partners to evacuate more than 70,000 personnel from Afghanistan, including American citizens and students from all over Afghanistan and Afghan staff and their families, and journalists from around the world. His Excellency added, there is still a lot to do in Afghanistan, and the State of Qatar remains committed to continuing the necessary work, along with the United States and its partners around the world, and Qatar is committed to contribute to the stability of Afghanistan and the safety and well-being of the Afghan people.
His Excellency indicated that the strategic dialogue will discuss issues of common interest, and will reaffirm Qatar determination to deepen cooperation between the two countries in various fields, including strengthening the defense and security partnership.
His Excellency said that the economic partnership between the State of Qatar and the United States of America exceeds USD 200 billion in the fields of trade and investment, explaining that the State of Qatar has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the American economy, which translates into providing tens of thousands of jobs throughout the United States.
His Excellency pointed out that the State of Qatar plays an important role in helping countries meet their energy needs, as a leading producer of natural gas, with its firm belief in the importance of measures to reduce emissions, through its global investments in green innovations and technologies, along with Qatar's environmental strategy.
His Excellency added, that Qatar investments reflect its commitment to taking care of the environment, and as of 2021, more than half of Qatar Investment Authority investments will go to zero-emission power generation projects.
His Excellency added that 2022 will be a special year because it marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the State of Qatar and the United States of America, and in November next year, Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will be the first FIFA World Cup to take into account carbon emissions.
His Excellency referred to the celebration of the Year of Culture Qatar - USA 2021, which includes a number of events that highlight the depth of the long and friendly relations over the years.
His Excellency expressed Qatar's aspiration to host the 5th session of the strategic dialogue between the two countries next year.
For his part, HE Secretary of State of the United States of America Antony Blinken, welcomed HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and all members of the Qatari delegation in Washington, expressing his appreciation to all colleagues for the work that has already been done, and the work that will be done in the coming hours.
His Excellency said in a speech before the strategic dialogue that if the two countries look at the diversity of issues that will cover, it reflects a strong reality, which is the growing strength of the relationship between the United States and the State of Qatar, which includes security and common economic interests, cooperation in many areas and regional challenges, and the growing relations between the two people.
His Excellency considered that the events that took place in Afghanistan during the past months have strengthened the partnership of the two countries, including the most sensitive and pressing issues.
His Excellency added that he had the opportunity during his visit to Doha last September to thank HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for the generosity, support and exceptional cooperation of the State of Qatar, pointing out that he witnessed directly the massive joint operation to evacuate Americans, foreign nationals and Afghans who have been partners for twenty years, out of more than 124,000 people who were evacuated from Afghanistan last August, about half of them were evacuated through Qatar and this work is still going on.
His Excellency added that since that time, the State of Qatar has facilitated and funded 15 additional flights out of Afghanistan, enabling hundreds of American citizens and thousands more to leave the country. The government and Qatar Airways continue to support flights from Afghanistan for US Special Immigrant Visa holders and others.
His Excellency stressed that the support provided by the State of Qatar to the operations at Kabul Airport allowed the flow of humanitarian aid from the international community to Afghanistan, including several flights from the World Health Organization carrying life-saving medical supplies for more than two million Afghans.
His Excellency added that today the two countries are signing two new agreements that reflect the deep cooperation on Afghanistan. The first confirms the role of the State of Qatar as the protective authority of the United States in Afghanistan. The State of Qatar will establish a section to serve American interests within its embassy in Afghanistan, such as providing certain consular services and monitoring the status and security of American diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan. The second agreement formalizes the partnership with Qatar to facilitate Afghan travel on special immigrant visas to the United States, a role it has already played in many cases and serves as a transit point for eligible Afghans as they complete their application process.
His Excellency went on saying that the US is grateful for Qatar's leadership and for its support for Afghanistan, and pointed out that the partnership between the two countries is much broader than that, and this is reflected in the very good conversations and the regular conversations with HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs on many issues of common interest in the region and beyond.
His Excellency said that the State of Qatar is an important partner in promoting regional stability, not only by hosting US forces that provide security throughout the region, but also by providing economic and humanitarian assistance to people in difficult situations and times, noting that the State of Qatar has donated over the past decade more than USD 1.3 billion in aid to Palestinians in Gaza and has provided significant support to the Yemeni people, including USD 100 million pledged in August and another USD 90 million donated by HH the Amir this week through the World Food Program.
His Excellency added that both countries are also working together on difficult issues such as labor rights, and the US stands ready to support the State of Qatar in ensuring the full implementation of its labor reforms, including ensuring that all workers in the country are covered by the new minimum wage law, and are able to change employers and leave the country without certificates and permits.
HE Secretary of State of the United States of America considered that the relationship between the State of Qatar and the United States is stronger than ever, expressing his belief that it will strengthen and flourish in a deeper and more diversified manner for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries and other peoples.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs