The strategic dialogue between the US and Qatar, which took place in Washington, DC on Tuesday for the first time, indicates the depth of bilateral relations between the two countries, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has said.
Speaking at the US Chamber of Commerce, which hosted high-ranking Qatari and US officials participating in the strategic dialogue on Tuesday, Sheikh Mohamed said that 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the Qatari-US relationship.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister stressed Qatar's keenness on developing the partnership with the US in various fields, saying: "We are not only talking about a security and defence partnership, but we believe that the business sector is an important element in this partnership," he said.
He expressed the hope that in the next round of strategic dialogue, the two countries will celebrate the progress made in the partnership during the current year.
He highlighted the mutual trust which the US-Qatari partnership has strengthened over the past years.
The ceremony was also attended by HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani and HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada.
From the US side, the event was attended by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and President of the US-Qatar Business Council Ambassador Anne Patterson.
HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani speaking at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.
Speaking at the event, HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani underlined the strength of the Qatari economy and the investment opportunities in the country, and the trade relations between the two countries.
HE the Minister noted that Qatar's exports rose by 19% to $68bn in 2017, compared to $57bn in 2016.
Sheikh Ahmed underlined that numbers and positive indicators prove that Qatar has overcome the siege imposed on it, noting that the Qatari economy was not affected thanks to the wise policies of the State.
He added that the business climate in Qatar encourages foreign investment, especially in light of the low uniform tax.
Regarding Qatar's investments in the United States, the Minister said that the Qatari investments have helped create jobs in the United States.
For his part, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stressed the importance of the Qatar-US strategic dialogue in consolidating the important security partnership between the two countries.
He underlined that the United States is committed to the sovereignty of Qatar, adding: "Qatar knows that it can rely on the United States to stand with it in terms of compliance with all UN treaties to preserve the sovereignty of the State of Qatar".
During the strategic dialogue, the two sides will discuss the memorandum of understanding on combating terrorism, signed by the two countries last summer, he said, adding that the two countries will help each other to cut off terrorist financing networks and identify terrorists to be tried, ensuring their support for a stable Middle East.
Regarding the current Gulf crisis, Tillerson affirmed that US President Donald Trump is committed to doing everything in his power to bring the parties together.
Meanwhile, Tillerson urged US businessmen to invest in Qatar, stressing that "Qatar is an ally that has always adhered to its promises".
For its part, ambassador Anne Patterson underlined the continuing development in US-Qatari relations.