The Biden administration has designated Qatar as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) of the United States, with Colombia soon to follow, opening up new avenues of cooperation between the nations.
“I think it’s long overdue,” Biden said at the time.
Designating Qatar as an MNNA is targeted at reflecting the relationship between the two countries, Biden said. Qatar and the United States have collaborated on several critical issues in recent years, including in the evacuation of Afghanistan refugees following the Taliban takeover of the country in August last year.
He pointed out that the MNNA status will allow the country to receive additional support in matters such as refugee protection and climate action.
At present, the United States has designated 18 nations as major non-NATO allies. They include Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Tunisia, and Qatar.
Besides these countries, Taiwan has also been given the privileges of an MNNA member but without any formal designations.
A country designated as an MNNA can loan out equipment, supplies, and materials for cooperative research, testing, evaluation, and development. It can house U.S.-owned war reserve stockpiles and get the right to purchase depleted uranium ammunition.
Such nations can enter into formal agreements with the U.S. Department of Defense for cooperative research and development projects in the field of munitions and defense equipment. In addition, companies from an MNNA country can bid for contracts that involve repair, maintenance, or overhaul of U.S. defense equipment outside of the United States.