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U.S. President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2022.

REUTERS/Leah Millis

Qatar going global?

On Monday, US President Joe Biden designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally after hosting its emir at the White House. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was the first Gulf leader to meet with Biden in person since he became president.

Biden and Tamim discussed how Qatar might supply more of its plentiful natural gas to Europe in case Russia’s President Vladimir Putin decides to turn off the tap in response to possible US/EU sanctions over the Ukraine crisis. That’s a long shot, given that 90 percent of Qatari gas exports are now tied up in long-term contracts — although Doha has ways to to fill a short-term supply gap if needed.

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