Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will meet with US President Barack Obama at the White House this week during his first official visit as leader of Qatar.
In a statement, the White House said: “The President looks forward to discussing with Sheikh Tamim political, economic, and security issues of mutual concern to our two countries.”
Qatar is home to the largest US air base in the Middle East and diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries run deep.
The Emir’s visit comes as tensions between Qatar and Egypt – another key US ally – are once again on the rise.
Earlier this week, Qatar recalled its ambassador to Cairo after engaging in a war of words with Egyptian officials.
The dispute began when Qatar expressed reservations about Egypt’s retaliatory air strikes in Libya after ISIL fighters there executed 21 kidnapped Egyptian Christians.
Qatar instead urged consultations between Arab League members before launching unilateral military action that could result in civilian casualties. But Egypt took offense at the position, saying the Gulf state was “constantly taking stances” against it and embracing “a supportive stance of terrorism.”
Initially, it appeared the GCC backed Qatar after it recalled its ambassador to Cairo, but over the weekend officials ended up saying they support all military actions taken by Egypt against terrorist groups in Libya.
The visit to the US also comes after Taliban officials reportedly said that they planned to hold a round of talks with American officials in Qatar, where the Afghan group has a political office. The news was reported by Reuters, which cited diplomatic sources.
However, since then both US and Taliban leaders have denied the talks would take place.
This is not Sheikh Tamim’s first trip to the US as Qatar’s leader. In 2013, he spoke out against the suffering of the Palestinian people during an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
However, the last official White House visit between the leaders of the US and Qatar took place in April 2013, less than two months before Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani ceded authority to his son.
At that time, the main topic of discussion was escalating violence in Syria, with Al Thani urging “a solution to the bloodshed.”
Before that, the two leaders had met in 2011, after an eight-year gap in meeting with an American president that analysts said stemmed from tension over Doha-based Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Iraq war.