03 February, 2018
The expansion at the Al-Udeid base - home of the US Air Force Central Command - will allow for 200 more housing units for officers and their families, al-Attiyah said.
Qatar's Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah announced during a visit to Washington, DC on Sunday that his country will expand the American Al Udeid Air Base.
Al-Attiyah praised the US-Qatar relationship, saying that the Qatari Military has learned much from their American partners.
He said Qatar has made significant progress in combating terrorism.
"It is critical that all parties minimize rhetoric, exercise restraint to avoid further escalation and work toward a resolution", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a joint appearance of the USA and Qatari Foreign and Defense ministers. Its key role as a staging point for USA air campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria has given Qatar a strategic diplomatic advantage. The US also has military bases in the four GCC countries. 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 US Navy's Central Command headquarters are in Bahrain, where the British Royal Navy set up a new overseas navy base for the first time in 45 years last fall. 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. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria - these are all hotspots in the region.
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"We are grateful to the State of Qatar for its support and efforts in the war on terror", Mattis said.
Military personnel from the United Kingdom and other allies are also stationed at Al Udeid.
"Turkey stood with Qatar during this crisis when it comes to supplies, when it comes to whatever support we have requested from them", he noted.
The expansion of al-Udeid - like the establishment of the new military office - comes as Qatar works to cement even closer security ties to the United States in hopes of dissuading the Trump administration from siding with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Persian Gulf countries in a feud that began past year.
The missions of the four countries utter their rejection of the report content and conclusions which contain numerous baseless allegations and accusations in addition to clearly taking sides with one of the parties of the political crisis by fostering the very same Qatari narrative, built on frail claims that the Qatari government intends to market regionally and internationally. Qatar has managed to deepen ties with the USA as well as other countries like Turkey, Oman, and Iran, allowing it to circumvent the blockade in certain ways.