NATO

Qatar eager to join NATO

MNA International Desk: Qatar’s defence minister said on Tuesday that his country’s long-term strategic “ambition” is to join the Western military defence alliance NATO, reported news agency.

Speaking on the anniversary of a year-long bitter Gulf diplomatic dispute, which has seen Qatar separated from its former regional allies, Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah said Qatar wanted to become a full member of the 29-country alliance.

“Qatar today has become one of the most important countries in the region in terms of the quality of armament,” Attiyah told the official magazine of the Qatari defence ministry, Altalaya.

“Regarding the membership, we are a main ally from outside NATO. The ambition is full membership if our partnership with NATO develops and our vision is clear.”

He added that there was a growing relationship between Qatar and the alliance, and Doha could host “NATO’s units or one of its specialised centres”.

His remarks come at a politically sensitive time in the region.

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