Pelosi leads US lawmakers to Qatar

DOHA — US lawmakers visited Qatar on Friday, discussing bilateral ties and regional security issues with its crown prince, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said.

“Our congressional delegation is pleased to be in Qatar to thank the Qataris for their hospitality to our troops, and to receive briefings from senior American military and diplomatic officials as well as Qatari officials,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Pelosi, who led the group, said the lawmakers had met with US troops based in Qatar, including many who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This evening, our delegation met with His Highness Sheikh Tamin bin Hamid al-Thani, the heir apparent, to discuss US-Qatar relations and regional security issues,” said Pelosi.

Qatar and the United States have growing diplomatic and economic links and there is a large US airbase in the Qatari desert.

The visit came just days after elite US commandos shot dead terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden at his fortified compound in Pakistan and weeks after US President Barack Obama praised Qatar’s role in leading an international coalition in Libya.

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