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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and
His Excellency Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasim Al Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar
Press remarks prior to their meeting
Washington, D.C., April 29, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Good morning. I am delighted to welcome Shaikh Hamad to the State Department today. That the United States and Qatar enjoy a close relationship is due in no small measure to the Foreign Minister's energy and vision. I look forward to our meeting and wish him a very productive visit in Washington.
This year Qatar is playing an important regional role. It currently chairs the Gulf Cooperation Council, and it will host in November the annual Middle East-North Africa Economic Summit. The United States appreciates Qatar's contributions to the security and prosperity of the region.
Today, Shaikh Hamad and I will review recent developments in the Middle East peace process and consider how we can work with others of good will to get the process moving again. We will discuss preparations for the very important Economic Summit in Doha. Finally, we will consider the overall security situation in the Gulf, including the proper international approach to dealing with Iraq and Iran.
Obviously, the Minister and I have much to discuss. I am very pleased by his visit and encouraged by the warm, productive and mutually beneficial relations between the United States and Qatar. I am confident that those relations will be strengthened further by our meeting today.
Mr. Minister.
MINISTER AL THANI: Thank you Madame Secretary. It is my pleasure to be here. I thank you again for a nice, warm welcoming to your country. As you know, both countries, Qatar and the United States, are having good relations. My visit here is to strengthen this relationship and to try to see where we can develop this relationship - in the bilateral, or among the GCC, or among the Arab nations. As you know, the Gulf area is an important area internationally. We hope that we can discuss the security arrangement in the area.
The United States is our ally in Qatar. Due to the repositioning of equipment by the United States in Qatar, we always share the view of the security directly with the United States. This is part of my visit. Also, we are going to discuss, as I mentioned, the economic, bilateral, political or any other aspects Madame Secretary will raise in this meeting.
Thank you very much.

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