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Middle East: Qatar’s chief Sheikh Al-Thani to visit Washington on Jan 31

According to the sources associated with the matter, Qatar’s ruling Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, would visit the United States on January 31.

According to the sources associated with the matter, Qatar’s ruling Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, would visit the United States on January 31. Reportedly, the trip would give an address to Afghanistan, the security of gas supplies to Iran and Europe.

This would be Sheikh Al-Thani’s first visit since President Joe Biden took office a year ago. The meet comes amid Washington discusses the potential diversion of supplies to Europe with the energy-producing states, if Ukraine is invaded by Russia.

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On Monday, the matter was discussed telephonically between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the foreign minister of Qatar, which is one of the major natural gas producers, according to one of the sources.

Washington has been concerned that Russia and Ukraine conflict would trigger US and European sanctions on Moscow as this may suspend the delivery of Russian gas to Europe.

However, Russia has refused to attack Ukraine.

There are expectations that Sheikh Tamim’s visit would back the relations with Washington, which is one of its allies. The Qatar-Washington relationship became more robust after Doha hosted talks on the 2020 deal for US troops to pull out of Afghanistan, and to strengthen the bond, now during the Islamist-Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Qatar has become the US diplomatic representative in the nation.

Meanwhile, Qatar, as well as Turkey, have been in negotiations with the Taliban administration to oversee the operation at the Kabul International Airport, which is a land-lock air link between two nations.

The sources further claimed that Sheikh Tamim and US President Biden might also discuss the attempts of the global powers to revive Iran’s nuclear pact, signed in 2015, which with Qatar is associated. The discussion may be held on the efforts to cease the Yemen war.

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It is worth noting that, the Emir’s visit has been scheduled amid the spiralling row between Europe’s Airbus and Qatar Airways.

Tariq Saeed

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