Manchin to Welcome Qatar Officials to West Virginia on Monday
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) will welcome Qatar Defense Attaché Brig Gen Yousef Al Kuwari, Air Force Attaché Col Mohamed Al Manai, Army Attaché Col Khalid Al Naimi, and Government Affairs Advisor for Defense Attaché Ms. Sarah El-Zeini to West Virginia on Monday in Charleston. The Qatar officials will tour the West Virginia National Guard’s 130th Air Wing and will meet with state officials to discuss development and planning.
“This partnership between West Virginia and Qatar proves what we as West Virginians know – that the West Virginia National Guard is the most skilled and professional force and is known as the best in the country. I am looking forward to welcoming Brig Gen Yousef Al Kuwari, Col Mohamed Al Manai, Col Khalid Al Naimi, and Ms. Sarah El-Zeini to West Virginia on Monday and to showing them all our state has to offer. I enjoyed working with the Emir of Qatar and the West Virginia National Guard to secure the State Partnership Program. The military and economic partnerships that West Virginia and Qatar will build together will be beneficial to all and I look forward to the visit,” Senator Manchin said.
“We are very much looking forward to the West Virginia National Guard and Qatar Armed Forces State Partnership Program. It is an honor to have Senator Manchin participate in our trip on Monday. We look forward to exploring new avenues of engagement with the West Virginia National Guard aligned with ‘Vision 2040’ presented by HE Dr Khalid Al Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Defense Affairs of Qatar during the January 2018 Strategic Talks held with Secretary of Defense James Mattis,” said General Yousef Al Kuwari.
In April, Senator Manchin announced that the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) and Qatari military forces were approved to begin a State Partnership Program, beating out multiple other states for this coveted agreement. This program will enable joint exchanges of forces to conduct training and partnership exercises, increasing the military capabilities of the two nations. Qatar is preparing to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. This is a promising opportunity for WVNG forces to partner with Qatar to aid in the development of critical infrastructure and train security forces in preparation for the event.
Beyond military cooperation, West Virginia and Qatar stand to benefit from the SPP both economically and culturally. Both are rich in natural resources and have unique cultures that will foster an enduring relationship that demonstrates the power of diplomacy. Qatar has already contributed to the West Virginia economy by investing $50,000 in Reconnecting McDowell, a comprehensive, long-term initiative to revitalize McDowell County. The SPP will deepen and strengthen the ongoing partnership between West Virginia and Qatar.
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