Qatar-US relations to deepen in post-pandemic era amid challenges
June 15 2022 05:55 AM
(From left) US mayors Bryan Barnett (Rochester Hills, MI) Jim Ross (Arlington, TX), and Mike Duggan (Detroit, MI) in Doha. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar

Qatar and US ties will further deepen in a post-pandemic era and amid certain geopolitical challenges, according to a delegation of US mayors on a tour of the country.

Speaking to Gulf Times, Rochester Hills mayor Bryan Barnett expressed confidence that such relationship “will only get stronger”, citing that US mayors passed a resolution a week ago recognising 50 years of partnership and friendship between the US and Qatar.

He said the resolution puts a spotlight on the strength of the two countries’ economic and cultural relationship, as well as other areas of bilateral co-operation.

“I think that’s symbolic of our past and as mayors ourselves, we’re here in part to look at the next 50 years and how we can continue those relationships and learn from each other as we represent our unique and distinct populations,” said Barnett.

He, along with city mayors Jim Ross (Arlington) and Mike Duggan (Detroit), took part in a number of high-level meetings with some Qatari ministers and government offi cials, as well as investment groups, in addition to attending forums and other activities, as part of their visit to Qatar. Ross, who is also visiting the country for the first time, cited Qatar’s significant contribution to their city museum, which recognises military personnel who received medal of honour.

He also lauded Qatar’s hospitality and the warm reception of its people, saying that “everybody from the upper levels of government to the individuals working at the hotel are just as friendliest can be, and for me, that’s what communities are all about.”

“I am especially indebted to Qatar for their willingness to participate and recognising military veterans and our community,” Ross stressed. Like its generosity to Arlington and other cities in the US, Duggan said that Qatar donated research projects to the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

The mayors also see an array of opportunities in trade and investment between the two countries and their cities as Qatar had previously shown interest in many communities around the US becoming partners.

“Collaborative eff orts begin with relationships, you can’t collaborate effectively with anybody that you can’t develop relationships with. Qatar and the United States have 50 years of showing what really good relationships are about,” Ross pointed out, as he expressed confidence that such relations will grow further in the next 50 years.

“I’m excited about the ongoing relationships between the US and our individual communities in Qatar. I am excited about how Qatar has been able to develop itself and Doha and seeing the tremendous growth here and what is happening here in this community and I’m excited about what they can offer the US and what the US can in turn offer them, so it’s really special for us.”

The Arlington mayor finds education as an area for further collaboration between the two countries, as he lauded Qatar for creating Education City and bringing over half a dozen diff erent US universities to have satellite campuses in Doha. “This includes Texas A&M, I went there and I’d like to brag about it, that’s why I went to Law School and I was happy to see it here,” Ross said.

“The way Qatar has developed that centre (Education City) is just phenomenal and I’d love to see that collaborative effort continue and grow.”

Last updated: June 15 2022 02:26 PM

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