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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Qatar gifts generously to powerful US officials

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Qatar was among the top gift-giving nations to the United States in 2011, according to figures released by the US State Department’s office of the chief of protocol on Friday.

The list, which details gifts of value that American government officials received from foreign government officials, includes some 60 mentions of Qatar, the highest of all Gulf nations and exceeding the number of items given by China, France and several others.

Close ties

Though the list is almost two years old, it offers some insight into the military relationship between the US and Qatar, as most gifts were given during the many meetings held between officials from the two countries, including between Qatar’s armed forces and US Department of Homeland Security.

The most costly gift went to then-outgoing US ambassador to Qatar Joseph LeBaron and his wife, Elinor LeBaron, who received two Germani diamond watches worth some $37,000, given to them by Major General Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah, Chief of Staff of the Qatar Armed Forces.

However, the US requires all such gifts to be reported and turned over to the archives or other institutions for display so that they cannot be perceived as bribes. 

Other notable gifts include:

  •  A 30″ circumference gold and silver base with silver statues of two wild goats and a tree with gold clock hanging from it, depicting a desert scene, worth $3,200.00, from the Emir of Qatar to US President Barack Obama;
  • A clock on a gold camel statue, worth $2,200, from the Emir to then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton; 
  • A package of luxury perfume, watches, pens, luggage and other items for men and women worth $8,120, gifted to Michael Donley, Secretary of United States Air Force, also from Al-Attiyah;
  • Several watches and other gifts collectively worth thousands of dollars to American officials working at the Al Udeid Air Base and Central Command, from Al-Attiyah, Major General Ali Al-Sulaiti, Deputy Commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force, and other officials; and
  • Cartier “Tank” Wristwatch and QR100 gold coin, worth $4,265, to David Cohen, Assistant Secretary of Terrorist Financing, from Ali Bin Mohsen Bin Fetais Al-Marri, Qatar’s Attorney General.

Read the full list here or peruse it below:

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo for illustrative purposes only by Dominic Alves

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