/United Nations/ US Deputy Assistant Secretary to QNA: US-Qatar Relations Reached Incredible High Point

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Daniel Benaim stressed that the US-Qatar relations reached an incredible high point.

In exclusive remarks to Qatar News Agency , he said that the two countries recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of their relationship in its modern form, adding that the US declared Qatar as major non-NATO ally. He pointed out that the relationship between the two countries is very deep and strong and is characterized by the relations between the leadership of the two countries, the thick web of communications, continuous consultation, and joint projects.

He added that the US values Qatar’s role in Afghanistan, describing Qatar as a reliable partner everywhere. He noted Qatar’s role in supporting the Palestinian people in general and the people of the Gaza Strip, in particular, to whom Qatar acted as a lifeline. He also mentioned Qatar’s support for Lebanon during its difficult period, saying: “all of these and so many others speak to what is a close partnership built not only on shared history but on deep cooperation and trust.” The US official stressed that the United States really values Qatar’s role in Afghanistan as Qatar helped the US as well as the Afghan people and played a vital role in evacuating Western citizens from Afghanistan.

He stressed that the two countries are in constant consultation and communication regarding Afghanistan as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West has visited the State of Qatar many times and works closely with the Qatari officials. “This is obviously an incredibly difficult ongoing situation that both our countries are working to manage, but we are fortunate in managing this file that we have a strong partnership with Qatar and one that not only is a diplomatic partnership that serves national interests but one that in very palpable and tangible ways that benefit the lives of tens of thousands of people, including many future Americans who have come from Afghanistan, who will know that at an invaluable time in their life, when their life was changing, they were greeted with hospitality and generosity by Qatar on their way to the United States,” he said.

“The truth is that the US-Qatar partnership at this point is not anchored to anyone or special occasion, it is 24/7, 365. So, we are always working and talking, including about the next strategic dialogue, and planning to find ways to go even further than we have gone before. So, that work continues in a big variety of ways,” he added.

In his remarks to QNA, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Daniel Benaim pointed out that the bilateral cooperation between the US and the State of Qatar includes various fields, including clean energy, labor, sports, cooperation on humanitarian aid, strategic cooperation, security cooperation, in addition to coordinating in a number of regional and international issues.

He also pointed out to the importance of deepening educational ties between the two countries, indicating that the performance in issuing student visas for Qatari students has dramatically improved. In this regard, he said: “we were in a position where it had almost never been easier for Qatari students to come and apply to study in the United States and come join American universities as we had some delays in the wake of COVID-19. All those delays have been resolved. This is a process that is ready to accept Qataris to come and study and learn in the United States and frankly, it is ready to send Americans to learn in Qatar. And so, we want to make sure we have a two-way exchange.” “I just want to make a plea to young Qataris that American universities are open for business, and we can work with you to help facilitate your ability to enter the country,” he said.

“One thing I want to mention specifically is the value of educational and cultural exchange. I was very happy that when we arrived for the 5th US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, we arrived with one of the very top officials working on educational and cultural exchange for the United States to take part in the session and devoted it to just that topic,” he added.

On the other hand, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Daniel Benaim praised the organization of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, describing Qatars World Cup edition as “a truly remarkable event”.

“I think people everywhere will never forget the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and this sort of remarkable first visit of this event to the Gulf region. It was a resounding success,” he said.

He pointed out that the United States appreciates its partnership with Qatar on a range of things in the run-up and the aftermath of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

“We have an ongoing very constructive partnership on the labor issues where Qatar used the occasion of organizing the World Cup to make significant improvements and promised to implement significant reforms that we work together to support implementation and ongoing work on, along with various other reforms. So many Americans attended the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 activities and got to know Qatar for the first time,” he added.

The US official said that he thinks that as the United States prepares to host the FIFA World Cup 2026 (jointly with Canada and Mexico), the US should have ongoing conversations with the State of Qatar to benefit from its expertise and experience in this field, saying that Qatar has the most recent and important expertise on how to host such an event. “As the United States prepares to host the World Cup in 2026, we are already talking, and we have a lot of ongoing exchange so that we can learn from Qatar’s experience to host our own version of the Cup coming up next. So, this truly is a very important and a very strategic relationship for the United States,” he said.

Source: Qatar News Agency