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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Third Qatari-US strategic dialogue begins in Washington

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Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo co-chair the third Qatari-US strategic dialogue on Monday.

The high-level talks are set to discuss Qatari-US cooperation in various fields while developing bilateral relations based on common interests, as announced by Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter. Both countries are going to sign ‘a number of Memoranda of Understanding’ in a number of different industries.

Deals are set to be made in the fields of education, the economy, health, and culture.

Read also: White House advisor Jared Kushner meets Qatar Amir in Doha

Aside from bilateral discussions, regional and international developments are likely to be on the agenda, foremost amongst them the recent normalisation deals signed between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain. Qatar’s foreign ministry tweeted that foreign minister Al-Thani “will stress the need to reach a just solution” when it comes to discussions around the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine.

Previous Qatari-US strategic dialogues

Previous Qatari-US dialogues took place in 2018 in Washington, followed by another in 2019 held in Doha.

The inaugural session was co-chaired by then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Khalid al-Attiyah together with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

In the first session, both states signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing an annual Strategic Dialogue while discussing the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar imposed the previous year. Qatar and the US also expressed the need for an immediate resolution which respects Qatar’s sovereignty, though this has yet to be achieved.

Doha and Washington also signed various Memoranda of Understanding and Letters of Intent in the fields of trade, investment, and technology.

A key outcome of the 2019 Qatari-US strategic dialogue saw the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding and Statement of Intent in education and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

What do you think are the outcomes of this year’s dialogue?

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