President Joe Biden promised Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, on Monday that he will soon designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally, granting special status to a key friend in a turbulent region.
During a meeting in the Oval Office, Biden said he planned to notify the U.S. Congress soon of the designation, which is granted by the United States to close, non-NATO allies that have strategic working relationships with the U.S. military.
“Qatar is a good friend and reliable and capable partner. And I’m notifying Congress that I will designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally to reflect the importance of our relationship. I think it’s long overdue,” Biden told reporters with the emir sitting at his side.
Qatar is the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas and may divert supplies to Europe if the Ukraine conflict disrupts Russian gas deliveries to the continent.
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