U.S., Qatar sign MoU on Al-Udeid Air Base expansion

Chen Zhuo

DOHA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the expansion and renovation of Al-Udeid Air Base.

Al-Udeid, which is considered the largest U.S. base in the Middle East, hosts around 10,000 U.S. troops and scores of U.S. combat and supporting aircraft.

In a joint press conference, Pompeo said: "We're all more powerful when we're working together. Disputes between countries that have a shared objective are never helpful."

He was referring to the boycott imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt.

Earlier this month, Anthony Zinni, a former commander of U.S. Central Command, resigned as special envoy to resolve the dispute.

"The departure of Mr. Zinni in no way reflects any change in America's Middle East efforts, our strategy or our ongoing commitment to the region," Pompeo said. "It was a time for change. He made this decision to move on, but America's commitment remains unchanged."



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