Director of Policy and Planning Department: Strategic Qatari-US Relations Contributed to Enhancing Defense and Security Priorities in the Gulf

General

HE the Director of the Department of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Dr. Khalid bin Fahad Al Khater, said that there is a remarkable and sustainable development in relations between the State of Qatar and the United States of America, which in turn contributed to enhancing the strategic, defense, security and economic priorities in the Gulf region and the Middle East.

HE Al-Khater pointed out – in his participation through video conference technology in a dialogue on preserving the strategic presence of the United States of America in the Gulf organized today by the “American Security Project” on the occasion of the launch of the report on the state of strategic cooperation of the United States of America in the Gulf region – the American presence cannot be separated from the development of sound and strong American policies in the region, and the State of Qatar is considered important because its general approach to foreign policy looks to the future, and it realizes that the region cannot move forward without adopting an approach based on a broader approach to the region that seeks to achieve a shared and responsible future.

His Excellency pointed out that the United States’ close relations with the State of Qatar will contribute to achieving common regional goals through an approach based on balance, cooperation and sustainability.

His Excellency explained that the launch of the Qatari and US strategic dialogue in January 2018, and other subsequent annual dialogues, established an important mechanism to strengthen relations between the two countries.

His Excellency indicated that the issue of the American strategic presence in the Gulf and elsewhere in the Middle East is an issue that provokes many points of view, pointing out that there is a common perception that the Gulf region is still the heart of the Middle East.

His Excellency said that the Gulf countries are not only important in the energy sector, but they play a pivotal role in shaping investment decisions around the world as well as their contribution to maintaining the security of the region.

His Excellency added that the Gulf states have had an increasing impact on the broader dynamics of the Middle East, at times this was in terms of humanitarian and development aid, and at other times due to security factors, but there are challenges that disturb security, weakening regional unity and leading to security crises and conflicts.

His Excellency added that for most experts, the logic of national security means that US-Gulf relations may witness periods of expansion followed by recession, but in any case, America will not completely separate from the region.

His Excellency indicated that despite what was said about reducing the American role, we are witnessing how Biden administration took early care of Gulf security as a priority on its agenda and this includes Iran’s return to compliance and the US recommitment to the 2015 nuclear deal.

His Excellency said that since the escalation of tensions last year between the United States and Iran in the Gulf, the State of Qatar has contributed to pushing towards de-escalation in order to achieve stability.

His Excellency added, that given that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) needs all support, Qatar supports regional efforts to initiate confidence-building measures, restore dialogue and rebuild confidence between Iran and the Arab Gulf states, however, there are parallel Gulf issues, including strengthening the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council and other issues such as Yemen and Iraq, as well as Syria, Libya and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

HE Al-Khater referred to the cessation of the recent Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people as an example of the effective role that a country such as Qatar plays in maintaining stability and providing humanitarian and development assistance to achieve security and stability.

His Excellency indicated that the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza had drawn the world’s attention to the bitter truth and that is, for more than 14 years, Israel has imposed a land, air and sea blockade on Gaza’s two million people.

His Excellency pointed out that the crisis contributed to shedding light on the problems of Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, not only in terms of restricting the rights of religious worship for Palestinian Christians and Muslims, but through its illegal practices of settlement and forced evictions, which many view as ethnic cleansing.

His Excellency explained that the State of Qatar is seeking through its mediation efforts to reach negotiation solutions, and its absolute support for the recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions aims to confirm that our role supports peace on the basis of justice.

His Excellency said that the State of Qatar realizes the main purpose of security, diplomatic and mediation cooperation, as it constitutes solid foundations for cooperation and, accordingly, it is important to highlight that the strategic relations between Qatar and the United States of America are one of the strongest relations in the region, which contribute effectively to achieving global defense goals such as confronting ISIS.

His Excellency explained that Qatar’s support for defense and security at Al Udeid base means that it acts as a center for improving integrated defense initiatives in the region. Qatar’s substantial facilities for the operation of CENTCOM and CAOC; greatly contribute to the consolidation of the American defense in the Gulf, which supports security and stability in the region, as well as being part of the US security strategy towards the Indo-Pacific region adopted by the United States.

His Excellency believed that the American strategic presence could not be separated from the development of sound and strong American policies in the region.

His Excellency said that the State of Qatar is very useful in this aspect because our general approach to foreign policy looks to the future and is based on the understanding that the region cannot move forward without adopting an approach based on a broader approach to the region that seeks to achieve a shared and responsible future, and such an approach needs to ensure a balance of interests in the region.

His Excellency added that this approach is not limited to national interests between countries, but also accommodates the requirements of good governance to achieve stability in the countries of the region. Moreover, this approach to our foreign policies supports global cooperation through the United Nations and other global and regional organizations, to provide a positive environment for the peoples of the region.

HE Al Khater stressed that there is an urgent need for such multi-faceted and balanced approach, especially during this period, which is witnessing a transformation into a new phase of regional relations that requires working together towards a shared and responsible future for the region.

 

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs