HH the Emir, US President Review Regional, International Issues

New York/Information Office/ 19 September 2017/ HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani discussed with HE President of the friendly United States of America, Donald Trump, the regional and international issues, notably the Gulf crisis and the exerted efforts to solve it through dialogue and diplomatic means.

A note from Ambassador Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani

Qatar is entering its fourth month of social, economic, and diplomatic blockade. Though we remain under the conditions of the blockade, Qatar has continued to focus on the pillars of development outlined in our National Vision 2030, as well as strengthening US-Qatar ties. We have accomplished much this past month. To that end, I’d like to highlight a few: • HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, participated in the official opening and inauguration of Hamad Port in Umm Al Houl, Qatar. Hamad Port is the largest port in Qatar, and with its modern shipping technologies, I look forward to the Port becoming a leader in trade for many years to come. • Qatari Special Forces participated in joint training activities with the U.S. Air Force, strengthening our security relationship in the Gulf. Qatar remains a strategic ally of the U.S. Air Force at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, and exercises like these ensure continued collaboration between our nations. • We have continued working to prepare for the 2022 World Cup, and very recently revealed the proposed state-of-the-art design for Al Thumama Stadium. Al Thumama will be one of the largest World Cup Stadiums in existence upon completion, and will hold over 40,000 spectators once opened for the World Cup in 2022. In the past month I’ve had the chance to travel to several major cities in the United States to better promote our relationships around the country first-hand. My trip came just before a time that has been so difficult for our American friends, as Texas and its neighboring states begin rebuilding from the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey. It pained me deeply to have seen the suffering and loss inflicted by the storm, and on behalf of the State of Qatar, you have my commitment that we will stand by our friends during this difficult time. I have been in communication with Governor Abbott, Mayor Turner and other state and federal officials and Qatar has pledged $30 million to the Harvey Fund towards disaster relief and recovery efforts, supporting communities that have been most affected by Hurricane Harvey. We continue to appreciate the support received during the blockade against our country; and remain thankful to the United States for its diplomatic role in encouraging resolution of the crisis. As we head into 72nd Session the United Nations General Assembly this September, Qatar remains committed to the principals of international law of the UN, and to working towards the common goal of international peace and stability that UN membership embodies.

Qatar Pledges $30 Million to Support Hurricane Harvey Relief

The Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani announced the establishment of the Qatar Harvey Fund, pledging $30 million to support the people of Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Through the Qatar Harvey Fund, the State of Qatar will work with Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Sylvester Turner, officials in the State of Texas and local organizations to help rebuild communities affected by the widespread floods. “On behalf of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and the people of Qatar, I offer our sympathies and support to the people affected by the hurricane and flooding,” HE Ambassador Al-Thani said. “Texans are stronger than any storm and will come back bigger and better, and Qatar stands ready to help our friends at every turn. For decades we have connected across many fields and are committed to supporting this rebuild.” “I continue to be amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support from people around the world to the State of Texas following Hurricane Harvey,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas and Qatar have a longstanding partnership, and I thank the government of Qatar for their generosity and support for Texas and our citizens as we begin the long road to recovery.” Qatar relations with Texas stretch back to before its consulate opened in 1997. Today, over 450 Qataris live in the Texas. Qatar has established a number of education programs throughout Texas. Through Qatar Foundation International (QFI) Arabic language learning and culture takes place at six Houston-area schools. Qatar hosts Texas A&M University in Doha, which just welcomed 100 new students for the semester. Established in 2003, Texas A&M connects Doha and Texas as faculty strive to educate the next generation of engineering leaders. In Sabine Pass, Texas, the joint-venture Golden Pass LNG Terminal is a testament to the close economic partnerships connecting both regions. The mission of the venture: to work as an integrated team to be recognized as the gold standard of the LGN and gas pipeline industries.

Foreign Minister: Dialogue Is Qatar's Strategic Choice for Settling Disputes

HE Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani expressed regret over the move by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE, in cooperation with Egypt, to sever ties with the State of Qatar, saying that it is an "unprecedented escalation" and stressing that the strategic choice of Qatar is to solve any crisis through dialogue. "Regarding the reasons for this escalation, honestly, we don't know if there were real reasons for this crisis or whether it was based on things we're unaware of," HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was quoted as saying during an interview with Al Jazeera. The foreign minister added that if there were real reasons, "there wouldn't have been such an escalation and the media fabrications wouldn't have portrayed such a wrong image about Qatar in an attempt to undermine its security and stability" based on "false stories and fabrications."

Qatar regrets the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to sever relations

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar expressed deep regret over the decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain to close their borders and airspace and cut off diplomatic relations. Such measures are unjustified and are based on baseless and unfounded allegations. Qatar has been exposed to an instigation campaign based on allegations that amounted to absolute fabrications, which proves that there are premeditated intentions to cause damage to the State. Qatar is an active member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), committed to its Charter, respects the sovereignty of other countries, does not interfere in their internal affairs, and carries out its duties in combating terrorism and extremism. It is clear that the media campaign failed to convince public opinion in the region and in the Gulf countries in particular, which explains the continued escalation. The fabrication of reasons for taking action against a sister country in the GCC is clear evidence that there is no legitimate justification for these measures, which were taken in coordination with Egypt, and the purpose is clear : the imposition of guardianship over the State. This in itself is a violation of its sovereignty as a state which is categorically rejected. The statement pointed out that the allegations contained in the statements of severing the relations issued by the three countries represent an undisclosed attempt which further confirms the premeditated planning of media campaigns, which contained many fabrications. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that these measures taken against the State of Qatar will not affect the normal course of life of the citizens and residents of the State and that the Qatari Government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and to thwart attempts to influence and harm the Qatari society and economy. Finally, Qatar's Foreign Ministry expressed its regret that the three countries did not find at this critical stage a more important and crucial challenge for their people than targeting the State of Qatar and attempting to harm it.