Islamabad, February 01, 2018 (PPI-OT): Qatar and the United States have signed agreements and memorandums of understanding to strengthen security dialogue and cooperation and fight human trafficking as part of the strategic dialogue between the two countries. The two countries agreed to work together to protect Qatar from external threats and the US-Qatari strategic dialogue will be an annual event, scheduled for next year in Doha.

During the opening session of the dialogue, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Qatar had made significant progress in combating terrorism. “Qatar is committed to the sovereignty and security of the State of Qatar and anyone who threatens Qatar’s sovereignty knows that Doha can count on the United States to protect its sovereignty,” he said at a meeting at the State Department in Washington.

“Qatar has made significant progress in the fight against terrorism,” Tillerson said. “Qatar is a strong and old friend and partner of the United States,” he said, praising the development and growth of the investment climate in Qatar. “Any investor has great confidence in the Qatari economy because of strong institutions and respect for contracts, which is important for every investor.”

“The Qatari-American dialogue will become an annual event that will contribute to strengthening bilateral relations,” he said. He called on all sides in the Gulf crisis to calm tensions among the GCC member states. “The United States remains concerned today, as it has been concerned since the Gulf crisis broke out eight months ago,” he said. “It is essential that all parties work to curb the war of words. Restraint to avoid further escalation and work towards a solution (to the dispute).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah and US Defense Secretary James Matisse attended a high-level delegation of Qatari politicians and businessmen, spoke during the opening session.

James Matisse, the US secretary of defense, thanked Qatar for supporting Washington and its efforts in the war on terror and for its security obligations in the fight against terrorism. “We thank the Qataris for their security obligations in the fight against terrorism,” he said. He also called for the need to “restore the Gulf Cooperation Council cohesion”, after the Gulf crisis that shook his entity.

“The unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council enhances our effectiveness on many fronts, especially on counterterrorism, defeat and confrontation,” said Defense Secretary James Matisse. “Qatar will not hesitate to defend its sovereignty,” said Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs. “Al-Qaeda is at the heart of counter terrorism efforts and the relationship between Qatar and the United States is broader than security cooperation.

The strategic dialogue is a road map for the future growth and diversification of the US-Qatari relations, which will be witnessed by the signing of a number of agreements, memorandums of understanding and letters of intent, including a memorandum of understanding in the field of energy, port management and a letter of intent between the Ministry of Communications and Communications and the US Department of Energy.

In turn, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani said that the siege imposed on Qatar “undermines efforts to establish stability in our region” and called for “strengthening regional security”. He stressed that Qatar and its people have been subjected to an illegal and unjustified blockade and contradict the joint efforts to stabilize the region, pointing out that Qatar “invests more than $ 100 billion in the US economy” and that “for these investments to flourish, regional security is essential.” He thanked the US Secretary of Defense and Treasury for their position on the blockade.

Observers confirm that the US-Qatari dialogue is a knock-on blow to the allegations and lies of the siege countries, which ignited the current crisis with random accusations of supporting and financing terrorism, while Washington asserts that Doha is a key partner in fighting this global scourge, whether through bilateral cooperation and exchange of information, or through the International Coalition for the elimination of the international organization calling and drying up the sources of terrorism through an unprecedented historical memorandum of understanding in the history of the Gulf region between Doha and Washington.

For more information, contact:
Qatar Embassy in Islamabad
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-2270833, +92-51-2270768