US designates two ‘major non-NATO allies’ — Analysis

Biden labeled Qatar and Colombia as Washington’s ‘major allies’ outside of the military bloc

The US President Joe Biden on Thursday designated Qatar and Colombia major non-NATO allies to the US. This status grants the two countries special defense and trade privileges when they interact with Washington.

“The Major Non-NATO Ally designation is a powerful symbol of the close relationship the United States shares with those countries and demonstrates our deep respect for the friendship for the countries to which it is extended,”This is what the US Department of State said.

More than 15 non-NATO major ally countries around the globe have received this status. The US has granted it to over 15 countries around the world. It gives them economic privileges like loans and cooperative research. This status however does not require any security commitments towards the countries designated.

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Colombian President Ivan Duque thanked America and the president Biden after his country was named a major non NATO ally “taking the bilateral relationship to [its] highest.”

Although the Biden Administration made a pledge to grant the special status to Qatar back in January, the decision comes only now amid rising concerns over growing fuel prices due to Washington imposing a ban on Russia’s energy supplies.

Biden’s move to upgrade the partnership with Doha is a U-turn from his predecessor’s unfriendly policy towards the Gulf country. Donald Trump led the Republican Administration that accused Qatar of funding international terrorist financing. It also supported economic blockades of Arab nations by its neighbours.

Earlier, there were reports that Washington allegedly failed to negotiate an energy production increase with its Gulf allies since Saudi Arabia and the UAE ignored President Biden’s phone calls.

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