Biden expresses gratitude to Qatar’s Emir for the last month’s prisoner exchange agreement

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FILE PHOTO: Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani addresses the 78th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 19, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

U.S. President Joe Biden had a call with Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in order to express his gratitude for Qatar’s mediation efforts that led to the release of several American citizens by Iran, as stated by both the Amiri Diwan and the White House this week.

In the previous month, Iran, with the assistance of Qatar’s mediation, released five American citizens in exchange for the release of five Iranians held in the United States, along with the transfer of $6 billion in Iranian assets. This event marked a rare agreement between the historic adversaries. Qatar has been urging both Washington and Tehran to engage in further discussions and reach “understandings”.

The call between the U.S. President and the Qatari Emir encompassed an examination of the strategic relations between the two nations and their efforts to bolster and reinforce these relations across various domains. The two leaders also discussed their commitment to enhance defence and security cooperation in the region.

In 2022, Joe Biden fulfilled a prior commitment by designating Qatar as a major non-NATO ally of the United States. This designation is granted to close non-NATO allies that maintain strategic working partnerships with the U.S. military.

Qatar has recently held separate bilateral meetings with both the United States and Iran, with discussions touching on matters such as Iran’s nuclear program and U.S. concerns regarding Iranian drone transfers to Russia.

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