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US floats idea of upgrading Qatar to 'non-NATO ally'

A senior State Department official made the suggestion amid a White House push for Arab states to recognize Israel following this year's strategic dialogue with Qatar.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(R) welcomes Qatars Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to launch the third annual US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, DC on September 14, 2020. (Photo by ERIN SCOTT / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ERIN SCOTT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Donald Trump administration is hoping to upgrade its partnership with Qatar to the status of "non-NATO ally," a senior State Department official said Thursday.

“We're going to move ahead, we hope, with designating Qatar a major non-NATO ally,” US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arabian Gulf Affairs Timothy Lenderking said on a call with reporters.

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