Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s recent visit to Washington amid the ongoing Qatar blockade, in order to meet US President Donald Trump has brought various improvements in the bilateral relations of both the nations.
The historical meeting between both the leaders has strengthened the delicate international relations that worsened due to the diplomatic and economic blockade imposed by various Middle-East nations about two years ago.
The blockade, which was a result of Middle Eastern countries accusing Qatar for sponsoring extremist groups, resulted in a diplomatic crisis in the country. The move further halted Qatari’s movements, banning airplanes and ships from utilising the airspace and sea routes of the blockade imposed countries.
Even after being isolated by its neighbours post the blockade, Qatar has emerged as a strong nation and has been successful in maintaining its strategic relations with three major powers i.e. the US, Turkey, and Iran. These countries have been offering all sorts of crucial support to Qatar through developmental policies.
Recently, the US chose to ignore Qatar’s support to Turkey in purchasing the Russian S-400 missiles that have previously severed the US-Turkey relations, such is the prowess of Sheikh Tamim.
Qatar’s dependency on Iran for international accessibility and transportation draws a huge contradiction to Qatar’s promises with the US. While Qatar remains awfully stuck in between the complicated relations of the two major world powers in the wake of the US-Iran tensions, both the nations remain loyal to this Gulf country.
Sheikh Tamim’s recent visit to Washington played an important role in easing off the tensions and promoting the US-Qatar’s favourable relationship. The partnership between both the countries have been centred on the al-Udeid air base in Qatar, which is a military base located at the southwest of Doha and is home to 10,000 US troops.
Other than signing major weapons and aircraft deals with the US, Qatar has also been investing heavily in the country. The Qatar Airways earlier announced $1.8bn purchase of five Boeing 777 freighters, and the Qatar Ministry of Defence plan to buy NASAM and Patriot systems from US arms company Raytheon.
It appears that with the joint agreements, Sheikh Tamim wants to increase the economic partnership between the US and Qatar. During his visit to Washington, the Emir of Qatar also included talks to diminish the US-Iran tensions, promoting international peace. It seems that with the entire move, Qatar aims to balance the delicate relationship with Iran and Turkey, keeping US close, in order to gradually improve its diplomatic ties amid the blockade.