About 100,000 American football fans are expected to visit Qatar during the FIFA World Cup 2022, revealed the new US ambassador Timmy T Davis Monday and highlighted that Qatar–US relationship is growing from strength to strength. “Our estimates are approaching about some 100,000 American fans or either side of the figure who are expected to visit Qatar during the World Cup. Before they come, we will provide them all the necessary information and all the assistance needed while they are here,” he said in reply to a question from 'Gulf Times' at a media round table at his residence.
“We are excited about Qatar hosting the World Cup. The US is part of the next edition of the World Cup and our hope is to learn from Qatar the entire lessons of a successful World Cup. I am convinced that Qatar will host a World Cup that will be a model for major international sports events. I am reassuring all Americans that coming to Qatar will be a once-in-a-life time experience,” said the ambassador.
The US envoy said that the relationship with Qatar has been growing well in the recent years. "Fifty years of diplomatic ties with Qatar is very significant. Fifty years is 20% of our existence as a nation. As we celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations, it means for a good part of our existence, Qatar has been a good friend of the US.”
“The country's role as a leader in the region is emphasised through our designation of Qatar as a Major Non-Nato Alley. We see this relationship as one that has room for growth. Qatar has been a partner with us in many of the major issues we face in the region and most importantly in the recent relocation of people in need in Afghanistan. Qatar was the leader in the initiative to ensure that those who were relocated had a place to go and those people in need-children, women among others- were given shelter here in Qatar,” the envoy explained.
Ambassador Davis observed that the US relation with Qatar is based on a number of pillars. “One is education as is reflected in the number of US universities in the Education City and our desire to have more number of Qatari students come to the US. In commerce, the number of American companies doing business in Qatar and with Qatari companies is vast and growing and it is not just in energy sector. We are working to help realise Qatar’s goal of becoming a knowledge based economy. One thing that we hope is that the US-Qatar relationship is a model for the rest of the region and the world,” he highlighted.
The envoy also noted that the US holds strategic dialogue with Qatar and it ranges from security to humanitarian assistance to labour and human rights among others. “We do it every year with the government of Qatar to make sure that we are speaking to each other clearly and plainly and finding places where we can cooperate for the betterment of our relationship and the betterment of the globe,” he said.
Ambassador Davis also noted that it is important for the US that Qataris, particularly Qatari students travel to the US. “We understand that due to the pandemic and difficulties in consular works in the last couple of years, some of the wait time to get visa to the US is extended. We are aware of it and are working on it very hard,” the envoy told the media.
The US envoy pointed that Qatar is also one of the best security partners of the US in the world. “Our airbase is here and it has hosted thousands of US personnel. It acts as a clear signal of our friendship and shared goals of stability regionally and globally,” he added.
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