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Qatar is already investing more than $100bn in the US economy, including $10bn earmarked for infrastructure, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said yesterday. He made the observation while speaking at the opening session of the inaugural US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC, in the presence of HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis.

“Qatar and the US private sector have devoted substantial resources to the other,” he said, noting that US companies are doing business in Qatar in the construction, energy and services sectors, while Qatari firms are investing in the US financial services, healthcare and technology markets. “This year, we are celebrating the 45th anniversary of the US-Qatar alliance. Our work today represents a milestone in a historically deep and continuous relationship between Qatar and the United States in defence, economic, education and political unions,” he said. “Holding this immensely significant first session of the Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue comes as an expression and a celebration of the enduring and the close affiliation between our two countries.” A number of major agreements would be signed covering defence, trade, investment, and energy – all areas where Qatar is committed to investing in America’s economy, he added. “From Qatar hosting six prominent US universities in our Education City, to Qatari investment in the LNG Golden Pass in Texas, our countries have shared interests – interests that translate into job opportunities for the American and Qatari people. To make all these investments flourish, regional security is essential,” the minister said. This joint endeavour was taking place despite the difficult circumstances that Qatar currently faced as part of a larger regional crisis in the Middle East, he observed. “Qatar and its people have been illegally and unjustifiably blockaded. This blockade disrupts the joint efforts in providing stabilities for the region. Let me express my profound gratitude for the effort of the President Trump, the US Congress, and Secretaries Tillerson, Mattis and Mnuchin in taking a just position on the illegal activities of the blockading states throughout this Gulf crisis. We look forward to our continued co-operation on regional security to deliver long-lasting peace and security for the Middle East.” Steven Mnuchin is the US Secretary of the Treasury. In addition to security, both countries are committing to improving labour standards and joining forces to stop all forms of human trafficking. “Qatar and the US are committed to delivering justice to our citizens,” he stressed. “In closing, I reiterate my appreciation for your effort to ensure that this first round of the Strategic Dialogue will be held successfully. We look forward to hosting the second round in Doha next year.” Military partnership eyed HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah yesterday said Qatar was looking forward to the future of its military partnership with the US. He was speaking at the opening session of the inaugural US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC, in the presence of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis.

Last updated: January 31 2018 01:36 AM