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Biden and Qatar Emir to meet at White House on 31st Jan

Qatar's ruling emir will hold talks with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Jan. 31 on a range of issues that will include global energy security, the White House said on Tuesday, amid concerns about gas supplies to Europe.

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US President Joe Biden will receive Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the White House on January 31, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Biden and the Gulf state leader will discuss security in the Middle East and “ensuring the stability of global energy supplies,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The meeting comes as Washington and its European allies are seeking to shore up energy contingency plans should Russia squeeze supplies due to tensions with the West over Ukraine.

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What the meeting is all about?

The United States and its EU allies accuse Russia of seeking to upend European stability by threatening the invasion of neighboring Ukraine, a former Soviet republic striving to join NATO and other Western institutions.

The European Union sources about 40 percent of its supply from Russia, and Washington and its European allies have been scouring global markets for alternative energy sources.

Qatar, a close US ally, has huge gas reserves and is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

Psaki said Biden will also thank the emir for Qatar’s support to the United States in safely transporting US citizens, permanent residents and Afghan partners out of Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal last year.

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Qatar has played a significant role both in diplomacy and evacuations at the end of nearly 20 years of war in Afghanistan.

 

AFP with additional input by GVS