Office of the Spokesperson
The United States and Qatar: Strategic Partners Advancing Peace and Security
For over 50 years, the United States and Qatar have enjoyed a close partnership. This partnership was further deepened in January when the White House hosted the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the first Gulf leader to visit Washington since President Biden took office, and the President designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally. As Qatar prepared 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.
Secretary Antony J. Blinken will travel to Doha, Qatar where he will advance this cooperation and show his support for the U.S. Men’s Team as they face off against Wales. The Secretary will meet with senior Qatari officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, to open the fifth session of the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue.
The United States and Qatar Advancing Peace and Security in the Middle East
- We congratulate Qatar on the historic step of opening direct flights between Tel Aviv and Doha for the duration of the World Cup and commend the efforts that went into this arrangement. The recent announcement is a historic development and an important step that holds great promise to bolster people-to-people ties and economic relations.
- We are thankful for Qatar’s close collaboration on Afghanistan and its indispensable support in facilitating the transit of U.S. citizens, Embassy Kabul personnel, at-risk Afghans, and other travelers from Afghanistan through Qatar. As the host of the first and largest such transit site in the world, Qatar has been at the forefront of our efforts to shuttle people from Afghanistan to safety.
- Qatar is one of the United States’ closest military partners in the region. Al-Udeid Air Base is home to the Combined Air Operation Center, which hosts 18 nations and is responsible for all Coalition air operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.
- Qatar is an active partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and countering violent extremism, particularly through its support to the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund.
- The United States greatly appreciates Qatar’s ongoing support for the Palestinian people and the stabilization of Gaza.
- Qatar has demonstrated its commitment to combat the financing of terrorism through efforts to support U.S. sanctions, compliance with international sanctions, and participation in multilateral fora.
The United States and Qatar Increase their Strength in Trade, Education, Sports Diplomacy and Culture
- The U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, last held in November 2021, highlighted our two countries’ close cooperation on the issues that are central to the bilateral relationship and included several new educational, scientific, and cultural initiatives. This year, our two nations celebrate 50 years of bilateral ties.
- Our ongoing high-level discussions address trade and investment, regional security and defense cooperation, law enforcement and counterterrorism, combating human trafficking, and enhancing climate initiatives.
- Since 2015, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, has invested more than $30 billion in the United States, with planned investment exceeding $45 billion in total. Over half of this concentrated in the real estate and infrastructure sectors.
Committed to Progress on Labor Rights and Human Trafficking
- The United States recognizes Qatar’s progress towards expanding labor rights, implementing labor laws, and combating human trafficking and is in regular dialogue with Qatar on the work that remains.
- Qatar has reopened its a humanitarian care shelter for victims of human trafficking and moved to abolish exit permits for workers, including domestic workers.
- In 2021, under the framework of the U.S.-Qatar Anti-Trafficking MOU signed in 2018 and the U.S.-Qatar Labor MOU signed during the 2019 Strategic Dialogue, Qatar and the United States implemented joint initiatives to build capacity, raise awareness, and promote the rights of migrant workers.
- The Department also recently recognized Qatari Undersecretary of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs Mohammed al-Obaidly as a 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report Hero for his personal leadership in spurring needed reforms to the employer-based visa sponsorship system and addressing ongoing labor abuses in Qatar.