Qatar inaugurated its largest coast guard base on Sunday as a standoff between Iran and the United States continues to boost tensions in strategic Gulf waters.
Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani and commander of US Naval Forces in the Middle East Vice Admiral Jim Malloy attended the ceremony at the Al-Daayen naval base in Semaisima, 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Doha on Qatar’s eastern coast.
Qatar, a key US ally in the region, is home to Washington’s largest Middle East military base.
Malloy, commander of the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, said the new base was “a wonderful opportunity for us to interface more strongly with the Qatari coast guard”.
The coastguard conducts search-and-rescue operations for persons and maritime vessels. It also guards ports, marine, industrial and oil installations in addition to providing security coverage of the waterfront