Middle East

Understand Qatar’s designation as a major non-NATO ally

The Gulf countries continue to make strategic shifts from the Middle East, which could help expand Washington’s “diplomatic scope.”

At the end of last month, Qatar’s Emile Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Tani became the first head of state to visit Washington from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) since Joe Biden took office.

During the visit, Biden welcome Qatar as a “good friend and trusted partner” specify Gulf countries are major allies other than NATO. Qatar is now the third GCC state with status and a special “Defense trade and security cooperation” together “Military and economic privileges.. “

This decision wasn’t in a hurry-the Trump administration too Contemplation Movement. Also, even if some analysts are designated later than expected, this decision is worth putting the United States in a deep relationship with Doha, and long-standing close cooperation over several files, and of particular concern. Will send a clear message about the three issues to Washington.

Afghanistan file

Since the Obama era, Qatar has been a useful conduit between Kabul and the West. Today, the situation in Afghanistan after the United States, almost six months after the Taliban ruled the country, has made Washington more important to its close relationship with Doha.

Last year, Qatar supported evacuation activities from Afghanistan in the United States. Tens of thousands In the aftermath of the Taliban takeover, Afghans left the country via Qatar. Based on that intermediate position, by August 2021, Qatar had begun to play a special role in Afghanistan on behalf of Washington. In November, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announcement Qatar will officially become the US diplomatic representative of Afghanistan through the US stakeholder division of the Qatar Embassy in Kabul.

European energy problems

From an energy perspective, the Ukrainian crisis has raised great concern in Western countries, which are paying some attention to Qatar. There are concerns that the Kremlin could use Russia’s energy supply as a weapon to gain greater influence over EU member states in the event of a war or new sanctions on Moscow. As a result, the United States and Doha are discussing the possibility of diverting Qatar’s gas exports from Asian customers so that they can be delivered to Europe under such circumstances.

“We have another geopolitical crisis, another potential crisis. [in which] The United States is seeking help from its partners, and Qatar is far from Ukraine, the geographical center of the crisis, but gas reserves can make a significant contribution. The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) told TRT World.

Whether such a plan is practical for Qatar and to some extent, its potential, and that Qatar is ready to respond positively. Demonstrate The importance of the United States to the Gulf countries.

Qatar is basically the only one on NATO’s side at this standoff, bearing in mind the fact that other Gulf Arab countries are far more geopolitically neutral to Ukraine but do not want to offend Moscow. I am a GCC member of.

Iran’s Nuclear Development Plan

Qatar is trying to help narrow the gap between the conditions of the United States and Iran to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Doha has its own vested interests in seeing P5 + 1, and Iran restructures the agreement. This helps explain why Qatar wants to help bring about such results.

When it comes to gas exports, Qatar has no substitute for the Strait of Hormuz. Therefore, Doha has great incentives to support the bailout of the nuclear agreement as a means of minimizing the risk of war in the Gulf and regional unrest.

Expert Note Acting as a back channel option from the United States to Iran helps ensure Doha’s safety and stability without sacrificing neutrality.Because of Doha Special foreign policy A strong relationship with both Washington and Tehran, which is an ideal candidate in this regard.

During the preparation period for the signing of JCPOA in 2015, Oman was such a back channel and hosted secret negotiations between the United States and Iran. Conversely, for Iran, Qatar is an excellent interlocutor not only because it has a good relationship with the United States, but also because Doha is Tehran’s partner in gas deposits and production in the Arabian Gulf.

At a practical level, their financial interests are intertwined. In addition, Iran provided Qatar with a lifeline during the blockade imposed on the peninsular states by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates between 2017 and 2021. In other words, the Islamic Republic should not be afraid that Qatar will play a malicious role in mediation. Future developments in the relationship between the United States and Iran.

Washington Middle East Strategy

Now that the United States has lost its influence over the Middle East and continues to make a more spectacular strategic shift from the Middle East, US authorities will probably seek help from Qatar and other states in the region.Expanding US diplomatic scope– To Iran and beyond.

Washington recognizes that all GCC countries are important to US foreign policy in the region. However, not all have acquired the status of this special major non-NATO ally, emphasizing that U.S. leadership considers some Gulf Arab countries as allies and other partners. increase.

This does not mean that Americans have plans to leave the Middle East altogether. “Actually, Al Udade [airbase that houses the US and other foreign forces] It will continue to be very important to the attitude of the US military in the Middle East and beyond, “Dr. Bork explained.

“At that level, this is also a recognition of Qatar’s importance to future US strategy and attitude.”

Given all the controversies surrounding Qatar over the last two decades, this designation shows how far Doha has progressed in claiming to Western countries that its relationship with Qatar is uniquely valuable.

Indeed, U.S. authorities are targeting relations with Qatar Hamas, TalibanAnd various Muslim Brotherhood A sect for many years. Some voices in Washington sought to portray Doha as a sponsor of terrorism and extremism, rather than the Arab nations worthy of close ties with Washington.

Dr. Krieg, an assistant professor of security at King’s College London, told TRT World:

“Qatar has always been a fairly neutral player and has been involved with all parties in a variety of different disputes. This was usually considered to be unfaithful, unpredictable or unreliable in Qatar. I think other European partners really understand the value of having this neutral country in the middle of a conflict-torn area. “

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views, views and editorial policies of TRT World.

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Source: TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/understanding-qatar-s-designation-as-a-major-non-nato-ally-54642?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Understand Qatar’s designation as a major non-NATO ally

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