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  • Top Story Replay: IOC Member and Head of State Makes Second White House Visit


    07/13/19

    Sheikh Tamim with Donald Trump at the White House. (Getty Images)
    (ATR) IOC member and Qatari head of state Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani calls U.S. President Donald Trump a “great friend”.

    Trump, who hosted the emir at the White House a year ago, reciprocated the compliments during their latest Oval Office visit Tuesday.

    Monday night the Emir was treated to a state dinner at the Treasury Department.

    “We enjoy a great relationship,” said the Emir while reporters were present during the Tuesday visit at the White House.

    “We have a lot of investments in the U.S. We trust the economy here,” he said.

    Qatari investments in the U.S. are said to be in the range of $30 billion.

    Tuesday Sheikh Tamim will sign a contract to purchase a fleet of new Boeing airplanes for Qatar Airways. While Trump saluted the impact of aircraft order on U.S. jobs, he has not made any public comments on the subsidies the Qatari flag carrier receives from the government. The subsidies have essentially forced U.S. airlines serving the Mideast to abandon flights to Doha.

    In
    The Qatari emir visited the White House in 2017. (Getty Images)
    addition to the White House visit, the Emir will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and go to the Pentagon. The U.S. Qatar relationship is defined in particular by the military base the U.S. operates in Qatar. With 10,000 soldiers, the base is the largest for the U.S. in the Mideast.

    As far as is known, there has not been any talk about Qatar’s high profile as a host for international sports events. The emirate will be the site of the IAAF Athletics World Championships in September. In October the first World ANOC Beach Games are scheduled for Doha. The FIFA World Cup is in 2021.

    Qatar, which has bid before for the Olympics, is expected to try again sometime.

    Sheikh Tamim, 39, an IOC member since 2002, attended the opening day of the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne last month, casting his vote in the contest for the 2026 Winter Games won by Milan.

    While Olympic business hasn't drawn the two leaders together, with this second visit to the White House the Emir may be the most familiar IOC member known by Trump. He did meet IOC President Thomas Bach at the White House in 2017.

    The Emir ends his U.S. visit on Thursday.

    Reported by Ed Hula.

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