Qatar and the United States of America signed a twinning agreement between the cities of Doha and Charleston in South Carolina in the context of deepening the Qatari-US strategic partnership in all fields and enhancing relations between the Qatari and American peoples.

The agreement was signed by HE the ambassador of Qatar to the United States Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani and Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.

The agreement aims to strengthen co-operation, explore opportunities for future partnership between the two sides, including co-operation in the field of trade and culture, and discuss the possibility of hosting a trade delegation representing the city of Charleston to visit Doha and to see the investment opportunities offered by the city.

In a speech at the signing ceremony, Qatar's ambassador Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani said that the twinning agreement reflects the sincere desire of both sides to increase understanding and coexistence between the Qatari and American people at all levels.

He stressed that the relations between Qatar and the United States are strong and go back decades, and that they are not limited to the military and security aspects, but extend even further to the development of bilateral trade and investment, as well as educational and cultural co-operation.

He also noted that in addition to six universities, Qatar hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East, besides more than 650 American companies which have chosen Doha as a destination for their investments.

HE Sheikh Meshal noted Qatar's commitment to invest $45bn in the US economy by 2020, in key sectors such as infrastructure, technology and real estate. He explained that these investments have contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs across the country.

Qatar's decision to sign the twinning agreement with Charleston stems from the full conviction that the cities of Doha and Charleston have many things in common that will contribute to the promotion of economic and cultural co-operation, to enable their citizens to live in an environment that leads to innovation, entrepreneurship, tolerance and intercultural dialogue, the ambassador said.

He added that Doha seeks to follow the example of Charleston, one of the most important American tourist cities, in establishing itself as a global tourist destination in the future by attracting 5mn tourists by 2023, and 7mn by 2030, noting that through working together, Qatar can achieve this goal.

The ambassador stressed that Qatar, in the last two decades, has striven to build an open, flexible, forward-looking, tolerant and inclusive society, sponsoring a number of exchange programmes aimed at promoting understanding between people of different cultures, religions and races.

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