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“US Secures 10-Year Extension of Key Military Base Agreement in Qatar” 

The United States has reached a discreet agreement with Qatar to prolong its military presence at the Al Udeid Air Base, the largest US military installation in the Middle East.  

Maintaining a Low Profile 

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The 10-year extension of the agreement comes as Qatar plays a critical role in mediating hostage releases and navigating regional tensions, all while maintaining a low profile on the international stage. 

The Unannounced Deal 

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The recently secured agreement, although not officially announced, highlights the United States’ reliance on Qatar, which has become a significant mediator in various diplomatic efforts. Located southwest of Doha, the Al Udeid Air Base has been a strategic hub for US Central Command operations in the Middle East. 

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Qatar’s Mediation Role 

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Qatar has recently played a vital role in mediating the release of hostages in Gaza and Venezuela, acting as a go-between with the militant group Hamas and coordinating with the CIA, Israel’s Mossad, and Egypt. Its wealth and diplomatic capabilities have allowed it to assume an outsized role in international affairs. 

Growing Regional Threats 

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The extension of the Al Udeid agreement comes as the United States strengthens its presence in the Middle East due to escalating threats from Iran-backed militant groups in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. The base’s strategic location plays a crucial role in maintaining regional stability. 

Qatar’s Hosting Controversy 

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Qatar’s hosting of Hamas leaders has come under scrutiny, particularly after the brutal massacre in Israel on October 7th. Calls have emerged for Qatar to expel Hamas leadership from its territory. 

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Biden’s Relationship with Qatar 

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President Joe Biden has engaged with Qatar’s Emir, but the country’s contributions have often gone unmentioned in official statements and op-eds. Qatar’s role in negotiations and diplomacy, including the detainee release in Venezuela, has not received the acknowledgment it desires from the US administration. 

Afghan Evacuations 

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Al Udeid Air Base played a crucial role during the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, receiving thousands of Afghan refugees. The operation was described by President Biden as one of the largest and most challenging airlifts in history. 

Qatar’s Investment in the Base 

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Qatar has committed significant resources to upgrade facilities for US Airmen at the Al Udeid Air Base. It became CENTCOM’s primary air base in 2003, relocating assets from the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. 

Read More: Trump’s Former National Security Adviser Blasts Barack Obama for Misinformation 

Austin’s Visit and Commitment 

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During Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s recent visit to the base, the extension of the Al Udeid agreement was not publicly announced. However, Austin emphasized the expansion of the bilateral defense relationship between the US and Qatar and their commitment to enhance capabilities at the base. 

Continued Reliance on Qatar 

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The extension of the Al Udeid Air Base agreement signifies the United States’ continued reliance on Qatar’s strategic role in the Middle East. As regional tensions persist, Qatar’s mediation efforts and investment in the base contribute to regional stability and security. 

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