U.S. lauds Qatar's strength in facing siege challenges

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U.S. lauds Qatar's strength in facing siege challenges

Doha will build 200 new homes and a new entertainment complex at Al-Udeid Air Base, the hub for all US Air Force missions in the Middle East. Soldiers at Al-Udeid Air Base used to live in trailers before getting upgraded, dormitory-style apartments. "We want more of the families to be stable and feel more comfortable in their stay", al-Attiyah said at an event at the Heritage Foundation.

The Persian Gulf nation of Qatar will honor U.S. sanctions in signing new agreements, including negotiating a deal to purchase the S-400 air defense systems from Russia, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in Washington, DC on Thursday, Sputnik reports.

Qatar and the U.S. signed a military cooperation agreement after Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

"We have very close cooperation with Washington, but this does not mean that we cannot look for other options", he stressed, noting that he doesn't think that Qatar-US relations will deteriorate in future.

"There is nothing signed yet, and what I can assure you that Qatar is always enduring the compliance with the worldwide law and also with the sanctions system here, the sanctions regime in the United States, so we are taking everything into consideration", Al Thani said when asked about Qatar negotiating an S-400 systems purchase from Moscow.

'The hosting of Central Command and Al Udaied base is an essential element in the fight against ISIS, and nothing could be done without the facility we have been provided by the Qatari government, he said.

He said Qatar has made significant progress in combating terrorism. The Al Udeid Air Base was built in 1996, and the U.S. military moved its operations there in 2003, shortly after the invasion of Iraq. It also established a common vision for the future of the Qatar-US strategic partnership, and a shared commitment to advance global peace and prosperity. "I am not exaggerating when I say 80% of aerial refueling in the region is from Udeid", al-Attiyah said.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain had imposed a blockade on Qatar from June 2017. The two parties discussed specific areas of cooperation through military to military discussions, and talks about the long standing and close partnership between United States and Qatar, the shared fight against terrorism and extremism in the region.

"The US came to an agreement with the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority on putting to rest the ongoing controversy under the Open Skies agreement about subsidies and other sorts of criticisms that the American airline industry had been making towards the Qatari airline industry", Gliha told reporters during a press conference in Doha on Thursday.

The embargo has not had the desired affect so far.

Qatar's foreign minister has said that his country is willing to participate in a US-GCC summit next spring, provided that the blockading countries' motivation is based on real will and not coercion.

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