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Qatar, US to hold talks over Free Trade Agreement

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Qatar and the United States will hold a meeting to discuss the Free Trade Agreement before the end of 2018, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce said.

The agreement will cover several areas of mutual interest, such as trade, food safety, intellectual property, customs cooperation and development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The meeting, which will be held in the Qatari capital Doha, is a result of the US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, which concluded in Washington DC last month.

Since June 5, 2017, Qatar has been going through a blockade imposed by the Saudi-led Arab countries, which have cut all air, land and sea links to the tiny gas-rich Gulf nation.

Doha, however, has been opening up new markets and diversifying its economy to cushion the impacts of the unprecedented diplomatic and trade siege.

The US is Qatar's sixth-largest trading partner. In 2017, the US became the top source of Qatari imports.

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