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Biden to host Qatar leader amid Europe energy crisis

January 31, 2022 at 5:17 pm

A general view of the White House on December 22, 2020 in Washington, DC [Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images]

US President, Joe Biden, will host Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,  at the White House on Monday, to discuss shoring up energy supplies to Europe, Reuters reports.

According to the report, Biden will inform Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on efforts for a diplomatic solution to the crisis over Ukraine, which has led the US to ask Qatar to step up supplies of liquefied natural gas, if fallout from a Russian invasion leads to energy shortages in Europe.

Qatar is the world’s second-largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG) – just slightly behind the US – and has an outsized influence on the market.

READ: UK’s new gas saviour during supply crunch is Qatar

During this meeting, the Biden administration will try to find an energy security plan for Europe, the reports says.

Gas supplies are one of the key areas that Europe fears could be cut if Russia decides to take military action in Ukraine. Therefore, countries in Europe are looking forward to get the gas from Qatar.

Yet, according to analysts, as Qatar has long-term contracts with huge customers in South Korea, Japan and China, there is little it could do to replace all Russian gas supplies to western Europe in the long term.

On the other hand, last week, the Bloomberg news agency reported the Biden administration has been in talks with Qatar to possibly supply more LNG to the European Union.