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Friday, September 17, 2021

Emir to visit Obama in Washington this month

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Qatar’s Emir will meet with US President Barack Obama in Washington, DC, on April 23, the White House has announced.

King Abdullah of Jordan will meet Obama three days later, and Turkey’s prime minister has scheduled a meeting in May. Syria was listed as an agenda item for both of those leaders.

But what’s on tap for Qatar remains to be seen. According to a statement released today by the White House:

The President looks forward to a broad discussion with the Amir on a range of mutual interests and regional issues to further strengthen our bilateral partnership.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani last saw Obama on an official visit in April 2011, following an eight-year gap in meeting with the American president that analysts attributed to tension over Doha-based Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Iraq war.

During their last meeting, Obama thanked the Emir for Qatar’s role in supporting “democratic transitions” in Egypt and Tunisia, and its help in forming an international coalition in Libya. For his part, the Emir emphasized the plight of the Palestinian people and expressed support for a two-state solution.

Qatar is home to the largest US air base in the Middle East and diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries run deep.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo of 2011 visit courtesy of The White House blog.

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