First announced at the meeting between the Emir of Qatar and Joe Biden in January, the move enhances the partnership between the two nations.
The United States has officially designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally, a move that enhances the partnership between Doha and Washington and gives the Gulf country special economic and military privileges in its relationship with the United States.
US President Joe Biden issued a presidential statement formally announcing the change on Thursday afternoon, weeks after a promise you made the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the White House in late January.
Biden said at the time that designating Qatar as a major US ally outside of NATO was intended to “reflect the importance of our relationship; I think it’s very late.”
Qatar is now the third country in the Gulf region, after Kuwait and Bahrain, to become a major US ally outside of NATO.
The US State Department says on its website that the designation “is a powerful symbol of the close relationship the United States shares with those countries and demonstrates our deep respect for friendship with the countries to which it extends.” .
The United States and Qatar have had close relations for years, collaborating on a number of issues, including the Afghan refugee evacuation after the takeover of the country by the Taliban in August.
Thursday’s statement comes amid global concerns over energy supplies and rising fuel prices caused by Russia. invasion in progress from Ukraine
Amid a series of sanctions against Moscow, the Biden administration this week imposed a ban on all Russian imports of oil and gas. The European Union, which depends on Russia for much of its natural gas, also promised to drastically decrease dependence on the Moscow bloc by the end of the year.
Qatar is one of the largest producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG).