Washington Looks forward to Coordinating Counter-Terror Data with Doha

Hamad International Airport in Doha Qatar

"I look forward to a lasting Qatar-U.S. security relationship, a relationship that will continue to bolster our efforts against common security threats and violent extremism", Mattis said.

The Al Udeid Air Base is the home of US Central Command, is essential to operations in the region, and houses 10,000 military personnel from the US, UK, and other countries. The GCC's members, all of whom are USA partners, are Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Qatar's defense minister says his country is expanding the major military base used by the USA military to make it more comfortable for Americans.

The expansion will add more than 200 new housing units for officers and their families.

The latest National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy place great power competition with Russian Federation and China higher on the priority list than terrorism, but Doha does not see the American presence leaving the Middle East nation any time soon.

More so, both the USA and Qatari officials signed three memorandums of understanding on security cooperation and other issues.

"As the Gulf dispute nears the eight month mark, the United States remains as concerned today as we were at its outset", said Tillerson.

"Colleagues in the US Department of Defense are reluctant to mention the word permanent, but we are working from our side to make it permanent", Al-Attiyah said.

The base now houses around 10,000 United States military personnel, and has been essential for air operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

The rift has been cause for concern, especially in terms of military cooperation. 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.

'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. 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. Calling Al-Udeid a full city in itself, the minister said that the Americans are always welcome in the country regardless of what the region think of them.

Military personnel from the United Kingdom and other allies are also stationed at Al Udeid.

'We have a burgeoning growing military relationship with the Qatari on maritime issues and Qatar has joined and deployed ships to be part of the commander maritime forces, he said. Last June, Egypt, Bahrain, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia instituted an economic and political embargo on Qatar, cutting off all diplomatic relations.

"It should be noted that just this last week, the Qatari air force completed its first two C-17 [Globemaster III] flights from the Gulf to Afghanistan and back, providing logistical support to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counter-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan", Mattis said.

The embargo has not had the desired affect so far.

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