Mattis, Qatar’s Defense Minister Discuss Mutual Security Interests
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis welcomed Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah of Qatar to the Pentagon today to reaffirm the strategic security partnership between the United States and Qatar, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.
In a statement summarizing the meeting between the two defense leaders, White said Mattis and the defense minister discussed mutual security interests, including the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, support for the NATO mission in Afghanistan, and improvements to Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar.
Gratitude for Support
In welcoming remarks before the meeting, Mattis thanked his counterpart for Qatar’s long-standing support of America's commitment to regional security, including information sharing and counterterrorism efforts.
“Your nation’s continued generous hospitality in Al Udeid Air Base helps to maintain this commitment to credibility by providing a home for the U.S. Combined Air Operations Center and headquarters for U.S. Central Command Forward,” he said.
The base, Mattis noted, provides crucial support for the fight against ISIS and the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
“We must continue to work together to ensure a secure and stable Middle East, as we confront terrorist threats and counter the spread of Iran's malign influence around the region,” Mattis said. “So today I look forward to reinforcing a lasting U.S.-Qatar security relationship -- one that will continue to bolster our efforts against our common security threats.”