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Qatar Moves Closer to ‘Major Non-NATO Ally’ Designation

Atul Chandra - : Feb 1, 2022 - : 12:21 pm

Qatar is moving closer to being designated as a “major non-NATO ally” for the United States with U.S. President Joe Biden indicating that he plans to nominate Qatar during his recent meeting with Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The designation will change the way the United States and its military interact with that country, said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby.

“It does open up a full new range of opportunities: exercises, operations and you know, perhaps, the … acquisition of capabilities as well,” Kirby told reporters being briefed at the Pentagon.

Nations designated as a major non-NATO ally, or MNNA are eligible to, among other things, host U.S. war reserve stockpiles of material inside their countries. Private companies within those nations are also eligible to bid on contracts to maintain, repair or overhaul U.S. military equipment. These nations can also enter into agreements with the United States for training.

More than 15 nations, including, but not limited to Australia, Bahrain, Japan, Kuwait, and the Philippines, are currently designated as major non-NATO allies by the United States.

The Amir also met with U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III at the Pentagon and the two leaders discussed shared regional security interests including de-escalating tensions in the region, countering terrorism and the threats represented by Iran. Secretary Austin reiterated his heartfelt gratitude to the Amir for Qatar’s indispensable and ongoing support to the United States in Afghanistan

The U.S.-Qatar defence partnership plays a key role in the U.S. strategic bilateral relationship with Qatar’s longstanding hosting of U.S. forces at Al-Udeid Air Base. Sheikh Tamim told Austin that Qatar is proud to host the Americans at Al Udeid Air Base and touted the partnership between the two countries. “We’re going to continue working together to help bring security and stability in the region, and I’m sure with this close partnership and this great relationship, we will be able to do so,” he said.


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