NATO declined Qatar's aim to obtain membership in the alliance, AFP reported, citing an anonymous official of the alliance. At the same time, the official noted that Qatar is nonetheless "a valuable and longstanding partner" of NATO.
"According to Article 10 of the Washington Treaty, only European countries can become members of NATO," an official said.
Earlier, Qatar's Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah said that Doha had as an ambition to become a full member of the Atlantic Alliance, noting that the country possess some of the best weaponry in the region and is a major "ally from outside NATO."
The defense minister's comment came during his speech on the anniversary of a diplomatic catastrophe, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar, with Riyadh expelling all Qatari citizens.