Biden will designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally

WASHINGTON — President Biden said Monday he would name Qatar a “major non-NATO ally” of the United States, a designation that will pave ...


WASHINGTON — President Biden said Monday he would name Qatar a “major non-NATO ally” of the United States, a designation that will pave the way for greater security cooperation and investment in the nation. from the Gulf at a time when Mr. Biden is seeking help to increase the supply of natural gas in Europe.

The president is keen to reassure European nations that they will not suffer from natural gas shortages if a war between Ukraine and Russia breaks out in the coming weeks. Russia is one of the biggest suppliers of natural gas to Germany and other Western European countries.

Mr. Biden’s comments on Monday preceded a meeting at the White House with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar. Speaking to reporters, the president hailed relations between the two countries over the past half-century on issues such as Afghanistan, the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians and the fight against Islamic State.

“I notify Congress that I will designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally to reflect the importance of our relationship,” Biden said. “I think it’s long overdue.”

Only 18 other countries have been granted this status by US presidents. They include Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Jordan, New Zealand, Thailand, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Bahrain, Philippines, Argentina, Taiwan , Afghanistan and Tunisia. Former President Donald Trump bestowed the status on Brazil in 2019.

Conferring the status of “major non-NATO ally” on a country does not guarantee that the United States will defend that country in the event of an attack. This guarantee — set out in Article 5 of the founding treaty of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — is limited to full members of the alliance.

But the designation will give Qatar more diplomatic prestige and access to U.S. defense force technology, security systems and training that were previously unavailable to it. This decision is often used to encourage countries to get closer to the United States and other Western countries.

In the case of Qatar, Mr. Biden hopes to deepen economic and security ties. In his address on Monday, the president applauded the Qatar Airways CEO’s announcement of a $34 billion deal to buy planes from Boeing. Mr Biden said the deal would support tens of thousands of jobs in the United States.

But the looming conflict between Russia and Ukraine is the most immediate concern for Mr Biden, who is seeking to maintain unity with America’s European allies behind threats of sanctions against Russia if President Vladimir Putin decides to invade.

Concerns that Russia could restrict the flow of natural gas to Europe could undermine that unity, and White House officials said they were working with other countries around the world to reassure European leaders if it was happening.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden will designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally
Biden will designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally
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