Middle East

US Congress Supporting Security Cooperation with Qatar-Doha News

The U.S. Parliament issued a statement on Tuesday calling on lawmakers to include Qatar in the National Defense Authorization Act. [NDAA] Fiscal Year 2022 reflects the strategic importance of the role of Gulf countries in the Middle East.

“It is important to note that the United States and the countries of Qatar have built strong, lasting and positive strategic partnerships based on years of mutually beneficial cooperation,” said a US lawmaker’s statement.

The first NDAA was passed in 1961 and covers not only the Department of Defense, but also various US agencies such as the Department of Energy and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Congress oversees the defense budget through the NDAA and the Defense Budget Bill. The former is based on the jurisdiction of the Senate Military Committee and the House Military Committee.

Expenditure bills, on the other hand, fund defense agencies.

The latest parliamentary statement follows the close cooperation between Qatar and the United States in recent months, especially in advancing political resolutions in Afghanistan.

Following the collapse of the previous Kabul government, Qatar immediately promoted the evacuation of Afghanistan and foreigners in what is said to be the largest airlift in history. Since then, Doha has evacuated 70,000 people from Afghanistan.

“Including Qatar in the 2022 NDAA is like the logical result of this year’s development and events that proved to Americans that Qatar is a trusted partner,” King’s College London and the Middle East and Researchers in North African studies Doha News on Wednesday.

In addition to the latest cooperation, Qatar hosts Al Udeid Air Base, the largest US military base in the Middle East, which is widely used by the United States for operations in the region.

Qatar and the United States also signed an agreement during the latest strategic dialogue between the two countries, with the former in Washington’s interests in Afghanistan in light of the U.S.’s closure of the embassy following the acquisition of the Taliban in August this year. Made it possible to represent.

“Americans understand that Qatar isn’t just a place to pass through Al Udade, it’s actually a partner that Americans can share the burden of other military operations,” Dr. Krieg added. I did. Qatar’s support during evacuation was an important element of the parliamentary decision.

“The United States will be more dependent on its Gulf partners for sharing the burden,” Dr. Krieg said, including Qatar.

Despite the latest statement from the US Congress, there is no update regarding the delay in approving Qatar’s request to purchase four MQ-9b Predator drones from Washington.

Earlier reports have shown that the Pentagon is encouraging the sale of more than $ 500 million in drones to Qatar, despite being late for the State Department’s termination.

The Pentagon supports the sale, but US State Department Similar applications from other allies, including the United Arab Emirates, are lit green, but have not yet approved the request.

U.S. officials say Washington asks Qatar to investigate F-35 requirements

State Department officials said they were wary of the sale because it could upset other Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatari officials previously told The Wall Street Journal [WSJ] They want to use drones to monitor huge natural gas facilities and monitor the threat of terrorism in the region.

The hosting of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup next year was also due to the country’s demand for drones, which authorities believe the mega-event needs protection from potential attacks.

After Saudi Arabia, Doha is the second largest purchaser of US military equipment and is offered to buy more than $ 26 billion through Washington’s Foreign Military Sales program.

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