The US Department of Defense (DoD) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state of Qatar to expand support for US military activities at the Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB) located southwest of Doha, Qatar.
The MoU was signed during the second US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue in Doha in the presence of US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Qatar Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
According to the DoD, the agreement will help promote interoperability, support regional stability, and reaffirm the defence partnership between the two countries.
In addition, the MoU marks a significant step towards the formalisation of Qatar’s commitment made in the first edition of the strategic dialogue to support sustainment costs and future infrastructure costs at AUAB.
Speaking at a joint press conference at the signing ceremony, Pompeo said: “We signed a new MoU on the expansion of our presence at Al Udeid.
“As the host of hundreds, excuse me, as the host of thousands of US military personnel and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) forward headquarters, this base is key to American security and our shared efforts to promote regional stability. We thank Qatar for its dedication to improving and modernising it.”
AUAB is home to the forward headquarters of US Air Forces Central Command, the US Combined Air and Space Operations Center, and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing.
The airbase is the largest US military installation in the Middle East and houses more than 11,000 personnel from the US and its allies.