Qatar–United States relations

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Qatar – United States relations
Map indicating locations of Qatar and USA

Qatar

United States

Qatar–United States relations are bilateral relations between the State of Qatar and the United States. Qatar and the United States are strategic allies.

History[edit]

Bilateral relations between the two countries has expanded in since the opening of the U.S. embassy in Doha in March 1973.[1] The first resident U.S. ambassador arrived in July 1974. Qatar and the United States coordinate closely on Middle Eastern regional diplomatic initiatives to increase security in the Persian Gulf. The two countries also have extensive economic links, especially in the hydrocarbons sector.[2] Qatar has also developed international educational institutions in the region to cater to the Middle Eastern market. Qatar also hosts an American military facility.[3]

During the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis, the United States President Donald Trump claimed credit for engineering the diplomatic crisis in a series of tweets.[4] On 6 June, Trump began by tweeting: "During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!"[5][4] An hour and a half later, he remarked on Twitter that it was "good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference [sic] was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"[6][7][8] This was in contrast to attempts by The Pentagon and State department to remain neutral. The Pentagon praised Qatar for hosting the Al Udeid Air Base and for its "enduring commitment to regional security." U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith, sent a similar message.[9][10] Earlier, the US Secretary of State had taken a neutral stance and called for dialogue.[11] Qatar hosts about 10,000 U.S. troops at Al Udeid Air Base, which houses the forward operating base of United States Central Command that plays a commanding role in US airstrikes in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.[12][8][13] A Pentagon spokesperson claimed the diplomatic crisis would not affect the US military posture in Qatar.[8][4] On 8 June, President Donald Trump, during a phone call with the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, offered as a mediator in the conflict with a White House meeting between the parties if necessary.[14] The offer was declined, and Qatari official stated, "The emir has no plans to leave Qatar while the country is under a blockade."[15] On 9 June, Trump once put the blame on Qatar, calling the blockade "hard but necessary" while claiming that Qatar had been funding terrorism at a "very high level" and described the country as having an "extremist ideology in terms of funding".[16] This statement was in conflict with Secretary of State Tillerson's comments on the same day, which called on Gulf states to ease up the blockade.[17][16]

Educational ties[edit]

Hundreds of Qatari students study in the United States. Six U.S. universities have branch campuses in Qatar's Education City complex. There are Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUQ), Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q), Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ), Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Qatar),[18] and Northwestern University[19] in 2008.

Diplomatic exchanges[edit]

Diplomatic visits[edit]

Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani last visited Washington on 24 February 2015,[20] and President George W. Bush visited Qatar in 2003 where he spoke to troops stationed there.[21] Donald Rumsfeld, the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006, also visited Qatar in 2002.[22] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Qatar in February, 2010,[23] and Secretary John Kerry traveled to Qatar in March, 2013.[24]

Residential staff[edit]

United States

Principal U.S. officials include:

The U.S. maintains an embassy[26] in Doha, Qatar.

Qatar

Principal Qatari officials include:

Qatar maintains an embassy in Washington, DC.[27]

Military[edit]

Beginning in 1992, Qatar has built intimate military ties with the United States, and is now the location of U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center.

As of 2015, the following American bases currently exist:

In 2003, the US military base Doha International Air Base (also known as Camp Snoopy) was closed.[28]

Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated in May 2017 that he doesn't "know instances in which Qatar aggressively goes after (terror finance) networks of Hamas, Taliban, Al-Qaeda," and that "My attitudes toward Al-Udeid and any other facility is that the United States military doesn’t have any irreplaceable facility."[29] Qatar hosts the largest American base in the Middle East, the Al Udeid Air Base, which has been used by the United States in its campaigns in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.[30]

In 2014, the United States sold $11 billion worth of arms to Qatar, including AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and Patriot and Javelin defense systems.[31]

In June 2017, Qatar signed a $12 billion deal to buy 36 F-15 fighter aircraft from the United States, with Boeing as the prime contractor on the sale.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Background Note: Qatar". U.S. Department of State. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Importance of Qatar to the US Economy". Arab-American Business. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Military Bases in Qatar". Military Bases. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Qatar row: Trump claims credit for isolation". BBC. 
  5. ^ Trump, Donald [@realDonaldTrump] (6 June 2017). "During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017 – via Twitter. 
  6. ^ Trump, Donald [@realDonaldTrump] (6 June 2017). "So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding..." (Tweet). Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017 – via Twitter. 
  7. ^ Trump, Donald [@realDonaldTrump] (6 June 2017). "...extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017 – via Twitter. 
  8. ^ a b c "The Latest: Trump says Qatar dispute could end terror". The Washington Post. 
  9. ^ "U.S. military praises Qatar, despite Trump tweet". Reuters. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Trump appears to take credit for Gulf nations' move against Qatar". CNN. 
  11. ^ "Tillerson says break with Qatar by Saudi Arabia, others won't affect counter-terrorism". CNBC. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "Trump sides with Saudis, other Arab nations against Qatar". ABC News. Go. 
  13. ^ "Siding against ally Qatar, Trump injects US into Arab crisis". The Chronicle Herald. The Canadian Press. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2017. 
  14. ^ Gaouette, Nicole; Browne, Ryan. "Trump reverses course in Qatar call". CNN. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Qatar vows no surrender in Gulf crisis as U.S., Kuwait seek solution". Reuters. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  16. ^ a b Mindock, Clark (10 June 2017). "Donald Trump accuses Qatar of funding terrorism 'at very high level'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "President Trump Just Directly Contradicted His Secretary of State". Time. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  18. ^ School of Foreign Service in Qatar: Georgetown University Archived 6 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "Northwestern University in Qatar". Retrieved 8 November 2008. 
  20. ^ "Obama, Qatar’s Amir Tamim After Their Meeting". U.S. Department of State. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "George W. Bush - Remarks to Troops - Sayliyah, Qatar". Presidential Rhetoric. 5 June 2003. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  22. ^ Blitzer, Wolf (11 December 2002). "Rumsfeld secures cooperation in the Gulf". CNN. Retrieved 8 November 2008. 
  23. ^ "Public Liaison E-newsletter" (PDF). U.S. Department of State. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "Kerry, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad in Doha, Qatar". U.S. Department of State. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  25. ^ "Chargé d'affaires a.i, Embassy of the United States in Doha, Qatar". U.S. Department Of State. 23 July 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  26. ^ "Embassy of the United States in Doha, Qatar". U.S. Department Of State. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  27. ^ a b http://washington.embassy.qa/en/the-embassy/ambassador
  28. ^ "U.S. downsizing in Gulf, quitting Camp Snoopy". World Tribune. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  29. ^ http://www.arabnews.com/node/1105866/world
  30. ^ Lendon, Brad (5 June 2017). "Qatar hosts largest US military base in Mideast". CNN. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  31. ^ "Qatar buying US helicopters, missiles in multi-billion dollar deal". Business Line. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  32. ^ "Qatar signs $12 billion deal to buy F-15 jets from U.S.". Reuters. June 14, 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/index.htm (Background Notes).[1]