Doha, Qatar – On Tuesday, December 19, 2023, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani and HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah in Doha to mark Qatar’s commitment to contribute significant resources to increase capabilities at Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB). This is a milestone which will expand and reinforce the enduring U.S.-Qatar bilateral defense relationship.
Qatar hosts thousands of U.S. military servicemembers at AUAB, making it the largest U.S. military presence in the region, enabling Qatar and the United States to respond to shared security challenges.
As Secretary Austin said, in times of crisis, Qatar answers our call. Because of the importance of the U.S.-Qatar defense partnership, which is based on mutual respect and trust, the United States designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally in 2022. Secretary Austin expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Al Thani and Deputy Prime Minister Al Attiyah for Qatar’s critical role in negotiations to free hostages held by Hamas and U.S. citizens imprisoned in Iran. He also noted Qatar’s central role in helping the U.S. military complete one of the largest airlifts in history, evacuating more than 124 thousand people from Afghanistan to safety.
U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Timmy Davis said, “Secretary Austin’s visit to Doha emphasizes the importance of the U.S.-Qatar defense partnership. It cannot be overstated – Qatar plays an indispensable role in promoting regional security and stability. Qatar’s security is our security, and we look forward to expanding our cooperation to jointly deter and address our shared challenges.”