Joint Statement on the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue

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March 5, 2024

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the State of Qatar on the occasion of the U.S. -Qatar Strategic Dialogue.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani led the sixth U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue on March 5, 2024, in Washington, D.C. The topics at this year’s Dialogue highlighted the breadth and depth of the 50-year U.S.-Qatar relationship, from economic and security cooperation to emerging technology and fostering connections among cities and communities between both countries.

The United States and Qatar announced several new milestones, including an amendment to the bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement, a Memorandum of Cooperation on biometric data-sharing to enhance law enforcement and counterterrorism cooperation, and a Memorandum of Understanding to open the first “American Corner” in Qatar since 2014. A special session dedicated to the FIFA Men’s World Cup centered on event organization, legacy, and security at the 2022 tournament in Doha – marking the passing of the baton from Qatar to North America ahead of the 2026 World Cup.

Global Cooperation  

U.S. and Qatari officials discussed key priorities, including Venezuela, Gaza, Afghanistan, global humanitarian assistance and development, the Horn of Africa, Yemen, and Ukraine. Secretary Blinken expressed his deep appreciation for Qatar’s continued leadership in the region, including important mediation efforts to facilitate humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and secure the release of hostages, including U.S. citizens, held by Hamas. U.S. and Qatari officials also discussed challenges in Afghanistan and the extraordinary teamwork between the two countries on the relocation to the United States, through Qatar, of thousands of eligible individuals from Afghanistan. A new U.S.-Qatar Agreement in Temporary Hosting of Individuals at Risk Due to the Situation in Afghanistan, announced during the Dialogue, is already enhancing America’s ability to process Afghanistan relocations through Qatar. The United States expressed gratitude for Qatar’s continued support on the protection of U.S. interests in Afghanistan.

The United States and Qatar shared concerns about instability in the Horn of Africa and the worsening humanitarian situation and continued fighting in Sudan.  Both sides underscored their commitment to promoting a negotiated political settlement to the Yemen conflict, while condemning unlawful and destabilizing attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. On Lebanon, the two sides underscored the need to press Lebanon’s leaders to end the presidential impasse and implement economic reforms. On Ukraine, the United States expressed deep appreciation for Qatar’s pledge of $100 million in humanitarian aid, as well as Qatar’s recent success in brokering a deal to reunite with their families 11 Ukrainian children – the third and largest group of children reunited thanks to Qatari diplomacy.

Economic Commercial, Trade, and Investment Cooperation

The United States and Qatar highlighted the strong economic and commercial relations between the two countries and discussed trade and two-way investment, as well as advancing cooperation in the fields of innovation, critical minerals, technology, secure information communications technology, and clean energy. The Qatari side outlined opportunities offered by the Qatari Third National Development Strategy of 2024-30.

Counterterrorism, Security, and Law Enforcement Partnership

The United States and Qatar highlighted their strong bilateral security partnership, expressing a desire to build greater collaboration and capacity in aviation and border security, information sharing, countering violent extremism and combating terrorism and the financing of terrorism. The United States expressed its appreciation for robust ongoing counterterrorism coordination between the two countries. To further deepen bilateral law enforcement and counterterrorism cooperation, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Qatari Ministry of Interior committed to signing a new Memorandum of Cooperation on Biometric Data-sharing.

Defense Cooperation  

The two governments further strengthened their cooperation and close security partnership under the existing U.S.-Qatar Defense Cooperation Agreement and reaffirmed their commitment to promote peace and stability, counter terrorism, and grow the enduring U.S.-Qatar defense partnership. In this context, the two sides emphasized the strategic significance of Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar for promoting regional peace and stability. They also discussed future upgrades to the base to increase efficiency and sustainability. The delegations also discussed the latest progress in military cooperation, specifically in foreign military sales, military doctrine and intelligence development.

Education and Cultural Cooperation

The United States underscored the importance of deepening people-to-people ties to promote diversity, inclusion, and institutional excellence. U.S. and Qatari officials also discussed additional areas of collaboration, including increasing professional and research-led academic exchanges. The two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open the first “American Corner” in Qatar since 2014 at the Community College of Qatar. In January 2024, the Qatari Ministry of Education and Higher Education announced plans to boost Qatari student enrollment in American higher education institutions in both Qatar and the United States.  Building on the existing U.S. Fulbright Scholars program, Qatar revived the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, and a Qatari Fulbright scholar will travel to the United States in academic year 2024-2025.

Labor and Human Rights Issues

Qatar and the United States discussed joint efforts to combat human trafficking and advance labor rights. The two governments noted the importance of advancing cooperation to strengthen labor protection, including access to justice, as outlined in the November 2022 Letter of Intent signed by Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Al Thani. They expressed a shared desire to deepen protections for trafficking victims through screening and victim referral procedures. Both sides discussed how to address rising antisemitism and Islamophobia around the world.

Emerging Technology

The United States and Qatar held high-level interagency consultations on emerging technology – the first ever such session in a Strategic Dialogue with a regional partner.  Both sides discussed the risks and benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and recognized the urgent need for common-sense guardrails for developing and deploying AI that is safe, secure, and trustworthy. The United States and Qatar decided to explore ways to deepen cooperation on emerging technologies to advance global health, food security, education, energy, and the fight against climate change.

FIFA Men’s World Cup 2026

Following the Letter of Intent on building strong World Cup legacies signed by Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Al Thani in 2022, the two sides convened a special Strategic Dialogue session devoted to World Cup “lessons learned” and knowledge transfer from the 2022 tournament in Doha on topics ranging from cybersecurity to major event organization.  Officials from the Governments of Canada and Mexico, co-hosts along with the United States of the 2026 World Cup, also participated in the discussion – along with representatives from U.S. municipalities hosting games in 2026.

Forward Together  

The United States and Qatar emphasized the importance of continued partnership and cooperation on key issues, consolidating state-of-the-art defense facilities, combating terrorism and terrorist financing, expanding trade and investment, and enhancing educational and cultural cooperation. Both sides look forward to the next Strategic Dialogue, to be held in Doha.


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