US renews presence at Qatar’s Al Udeid base for another decade, report says

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Rewrite this content “The US has reached a deal to extend its military presence at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar for another 10 years, CNN reported.

Located in the desert south-west of Doha, Al Udeid is the largest US military facility in the Middle East and can house more than 10,000 US troops.

The Pentagon did not immediately confirm the report. Reuters cited an anonymous source as confirming the development.

“We have been working with Qatari partners at Al Udeid Air Base for many years and are grateful for their ongoing efforts to modernise the installation,” Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Bryon McGarry said on Wednesday.

Qatar has played a key role in mediation talks with Hamas and Israeli officials over the war in Gaza and the release of hostages captured by militants who attacked Israel on October 7.
Doha also has been a key backchannel for American officials to talk to the Taliban since the US pullout from Afghanistan in 2021.

US President Joe Biden has regularly spoken with Sheikh Tamim, Emir of Qatar, on securing the release of hostages held by Hamas and on boosting aid to Gaza.

Israel’s assault on the territory has killed more than 22,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities. About 1,200 people were killed in Israel during the October 7 attack.

Some members of Congress have criticised Qatar for hosting a Hamas office.

A bipartisan group of 113 US politicians on October 16 sent a letter to Mr Biden asking him to put pressure on countries who support Hamas, including Qatar.”

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