U.S. and Qatari defense officials charted the future of the partnership during discussions in the Pentagon this morning.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis welcomed Qatari Minister of State for Defense Khalid al-Attiyah to the building, and the two went into meetings designed to make the partnership between the two nations closer.
“In Qatar we recognize a longtime friend and military partner for peace and stability in the Middle East and a supporter of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan,” Mattis said. He noted Qatar’s “highly successful” delivery of materials from Hungary to the NATO mission in Afghanistan as proof of the nation’s global reach.
Qatar also host the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base. Thousands of coalition service members from 15 nations join with Qatari personnel to combat the threats emanating from violent extremism.
“I look forward to your insights on how we can advance that security for we are aligned in seeking a region where all live and resolve disputes peacefully with neighbors respecting sovereign internal policies,” Mattis said.
The two men will discuss a proposal for an inclusive strategic alliance. The secretary said the idea, which was proposed in the Middle East, would be one that brings together all partners to address shared challenges. “We are committed to working by, with and through allies across the region to make this concept a reality and to deter hostile actors,” Mattis said.
The two nations have a historic strategic partnership built on mutual respect and shared vision of a better tomorrow, al-Attiyah said.
“We have worked closely with our partners in the United States – and specifically with our friends in DOD – to push the relationship further.” he said. “We will discuss ways we can further strengthen and develop the partnership to the betterment of both nations.”