US hopes to name Qatar as major non-NATO ally: Official | news


A senior US official said on Thursday that the United States hopes to move forward with plans to designate Qatar as a major, non-NATO ally, leveraging defense trade and security cooperation with Washington Provides.

“We are going to move forward, we hope Qatar will be named as a major non-NATO ally,” US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Affairs Timothy Landerking said during a conference call.

US and Qatari officials met with Washington, DC earlier this week, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Major non-NATO ally (or MNNA) status gives a country access to US military equipment and technology, prioritizing cooperation over free surplus materials, expeditious export processing and training.

The flags of NATO member countries are seen at the coalition headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. [File: Francois Lenoir/Reuters]

Currently, 17 countries have MNNA status, including the Gulf Arab states of Kuwait and Bahrain, which hosts the fifth fleet of the US Navy.

Qatar, the host of the largest US military facility in the Middle East, has been in dispute since 2017 with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

Qatar’s quartet severed diplomatic, economic and transport ties as they accused Qatar of supporting “terrorism”. Qatar denied all the allegations.

Washington, with strong ties to all the states involved in the dispute, saw the crack as a threat to Iran’s efforts by the Trump administration and pushed for unity.

News of a possible MNNA designation for Qatar comes after two Gulf states – Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates – signed normalization agreements with Israel that were brokered by the US.

There were deals with Israel The slogan was given by the Palestinians as “betrayal”.

US officials have expressed a desire to sell F-35 stealth war planes to the UAE following a recent normalization agreement. However, Israeli officials have objected, citing US policy for Israel to maintain military advantage in the region.

Qatar has refused to normalize relations with Israel, saying it cannot be a response to the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

Source:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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