His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and acting US Defence Secretary Mark Esper held a session of official talks at the Pentagon Monday.
Welcoming the Amir, the acting Defence Secretary said the US is grateful for Qatar's efforts to help deescalate the current tension. "The US is asking like-minded nations to join together to preserve freedom of navigation and deter provocative acts. We appreciate Qatar's willingness to support our initiative," he said.
His Highness the Amir said Qatar would work with the US to defuse tension in the region.
Referring to the visit, Qatar's ambassador to the US Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani in a tweet said the Amir will this week meet President Donald Trump, Cabinet members, members of Congress, and heads of industry to discuss current partnerships and explore areas of further cooperation.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani inspects a guard of honor accompanied by acting US Defence Secretary Mark Esper.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is being welcomed by acting US Defence Secretary Mark Esper
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani during the ceremonial reception
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani with US Defence Secretary Mark Esper during the ceremonial reception.
His Highness the Amir arrived in Washington DC on Monday on an official visit to the United States of America.
The Amir was welcomed upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base by senior US officials, Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani, and members of the Qatari Embassy and Qatar's Defence Attache Office in Washington.
The Amir is accompanied by an official delegation.
The Amir's visit marks a new milestone in the strategic ties between the two friendly countries.
The Amir will meet President Trump in the White House Tuesday to discuss enhancing strategic cooperation between the two countries in different fields, and to exchange views on the latest regional and international developments, Qatar News Agency reported.
The visit will also see the signing of a number of Memorandums of Understanding and agreements in the fields of defence, energy, investment, and aerial transport.
The White House said the visit will contribute to enhancing economic and security ties, in addition to discussing the latest regional developments, security cooperation, and counter-terrorism issues.
"The visit is a new milestone in the strategic ties the two countries enjoy, and will contribute to establishing stability and security regionally as well as on a global level. It also coincides with many regional and international developments that require further consultation and coordination between the two sides," QNA said.
Qatari-US ties stretch back all the way to 1972, when diplomatic relations were first established following the independence of Qatar. Ties developed rapidly in the 90s, in light of the strategic partnership in the economy, investment, defence, and culture fields. The last visit of the Amir to the US was in 2018, when he met President Trump, who stressed on the strength of bilateral ties.
The strategic dialogue between the two countries, which saw two rounds so far, is a reflection of the strength of bilateral ties in all fields. A joint statement on the outcome of the latest round of talks saw both sides express their support to expanding bilateral ties and cooperation. The two sides stressed their commitment to enhancing commerce and investment, highlighting the strength of bilateral trade. Qatar highlighted that the US is its biggest trading partner in terms of import, with 18% of Qatar's total imports coming from the US in 2018.
Qatari-American relations have been strong and well established for more than 45 years. For the US, Qatar has been an ally, a strategic partner and a reliable friend.
The two countries have extensive economic ties; Qatar organised in Doha last October the Qatar-US Business Forum, during which they discussed ways to enhance mutual investments, trade and economic cooperation. In parallel with the visit of the Amir to the US last April, Qatar organised an economic roadshow in a number of American cities which resulted in the signing of a number of memoranda of cooperation and trade agreements.
Qatar's investments in the US are estimated at tens of billions of dollars in sectors such as technology, media, energy, real estate and others. These investments currently absorb about 1mn jobs and economic cooperation exceeds $125bn. Both countries seek to double that sum in the coming years.
Qatar Petroleum has announced that it intends to invest at least $20bn in the US over the next few years. Qatar Airways has allocated nearly $92bn to support the US economy by purchasing 332 US-made aircraft, providing more than 527,000 jobs.
Qatar Investment Authority and Douglas Emmett recently announced a further $365mn acquisition of The Glendon, a residential community in Westwood California. This comes in line with the authority's announcement to extend investments worth $45bn across the US in the coming years.
The United States is the sixth largest trading partner of Qatar. Trade between the two countries reached about $6bn last year. The Qatari market has 650 US companies, of which 117 are with 100% US capital and 55 are operating under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Center, and the rest joint ventures.
Qatar is home to approximately 15,000 US citizens, of whom about 5,000 are employed in high-skilled jobs within the private sector.
Cooperation between the two countries also includes the educational sector, with Qatar hosting branches of a group of some of the top American universities, such as Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M University, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown and Virginia Commonwealth. There are more than 1,200 Qatari students currently studying in various disciplines and degrees at American universities.
Qatari-US cooperation is not limited to trade, investment and culture, but also extended to the humanitarian field. Qatar donated $130mn to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey, in a sign that the bilateral relations between the two countries are mainly aimed at serving the interests of their people and helping each other overcome the challenges and take advantage of all available opportunities.
The visit of His Highness the Amir to Washington represents a perfect opportunity to review what has been achieved recently, and how to move forward to new aspects of cooperation and partnership, thus providing more fruitful opportunities of mutual benefits for the two countries and their friendly peoples, which would contribute to enhancing peace, security and stability around the world, QNA added.