HomeNewsAugusta mayor visited Qatar last week as part of delegation on climate...

Augusta mayor visited Qatar last week as part of delegation on climate change

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Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. told colleagues last week he would be celebrating his birthday out of town, and he did.

As Augusta commissioners held the last official 2021 meeting on Dec. 7, with the mayor pro tem presiding, Davis was half a world away.

Davis actually flew to the Middle East nation of Qatar, according to Qatar Ministry of Municipality website.

Numerous international media sources also show Davis joined five other United States mayors who met with the Qatari Minister of Municipalities, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Subaie, on Dec. 9.

According to the ministry website, the American mayors traveled to the country to discuss climate change.

The meeting centered around aspects of cooperation between the “Qatar Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and U.S. cities in the fields of environmental affairs and climate change and ways to develop them, especially in the field of climate change,” according to the state-run Peninsula newspaper out of Qatar.

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The mayors of Lansing, Mich., Rochester Hills, Mich., Oklahoma City, Newark, N.J. and St. Petersburg, Fla. joined Davis at meetings that took place in the capital city of Doha. A Twitter post by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt offers no indication that the delegation was sponsored by any national mayors’ group or association.

Holt posted pictures of the delegation posing with the Qatari Minister of Municipalities as well as a group photo taken at U.S. Tinker Air Force Base, located within Al Udeid Air Base southwest of the capital city.

Augusta District 10 Commissioner John Clarke says he is mystified as to why the mayor would go globetrotting in the midst of the continuing pandemic and said he did not know of the trip or how it might have been paid for.

“I have no idea why he was there or even why he would want to go,” Clarke said.

Qatar is a small kingdom abutting Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. The oil-rich nation, which allied with U.S. coalition forces in both the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, has recently come to international attention as being the broker between the Taliban and American forces evacuating from Afghanistan.

The country is considered one of the more moderate regimes in the Middle East, but remains under the authoritarian rule of the House of Al Thani. Women were given the right to vote in 1999, but according to the State Department, the country still allows forms of slavery.

Among other human rights abuses, homosexuality can be still be punished by death, according to a published report in The Independent.

The mayor’s office has not responded to questions sent in writing, and Davis’ Chief of Staff Petula Burks has not returned detailed phone messages, so it remains unclear how the trip was funded.

Airfare from Augusta to Doha is roughly $3,000.

Scott Hudson is the Senior Reporter for The Augusta Press. Reach him at [email protected]

25 COMMENTS

  1. This mayor has obviously checked out on serving Augusta. He knows his term is up soon, so he is trolling for another job….any governmental-associated job where he can make easy money. This man is a minister? This man is an opportunist and I would hope his church….well, the church he’s in charge of…takes the time to look over their money accounts to see if he’s dipped into them for personal gain.
    On the bright side, maybe the people of that country will keep him.

  2. Why the secrecy? If this trip was legitimate then it should have been announced with pride. And, why can his office divulge the source of payment for the trip. I am pretty sure that the mayor did not personally pay for it. And I am just curious about the credentials of those mayors when it comes to actual knowledge and/or training in the field of climate change. It will be interesting to see what sort of recommendations the mayor will be putting forth in this area for Augusta.

  3. When is this term actually over? He needs to be gone from Augusta, has contributed absolutely nothing. Sadly the people that voted for him will do the same for the next candidate that’s the “right sort”.

  4. Why are people criticizing this? Until it turns out that he did something wrong or spent money that wasn’t his, then what he does on his own time is his own business.

    Also, if going to Qatar is problematic for its human rights abuses, why have you all not been jumping up & down about a USA military base that’s been there for decades?

    The article fails to mention the worst of its human rights abuses, namely the awful labor conditions foreign workers endure. Maybe that’s because, in the USA, we’re all about that, too.

    • FYI, Davis is being criticized because he was not in Qatar as Hardie Davis, tourist and bon vivant. He was there as an elected official, supposedly representing the citizens of Augusta, on a matter in which he has no official authority or expertise, and he may have used public funds to go there or accepted money, services, or goods from a foreign entity, which may be illegal.

      How is the presence of a US military base in Qatar a human rights abuse if Qatar granted permission and received compensation? If the USA is the world leader in human right abuse, then why are you here? “Awful labor conditions” sounds like personal sour grapes, if the only job skill on your resume “Professional USA Hater”. Unlike totalitarian regimes around the world, the USA permits citizens and non-citizens to freely immigrate to other countries and renounce their US citizenship. Suggest you head to China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Qatar; the Kool-Aid tastes better in those countries

  5. So, who is paying for this trip? Boy, he is bucking for a post in this administration, as he knows he’ll be out of a job soon. Oh, and we need better choices for the next mayor. So far, there’s not one I’d vote for.

  6. He’s a joke, has been his entire political career but because he has the D by his name he will keep getting elected. Augusta has to be one of the most low information voting places in the southeast..just look at the recycled politicians that keep getting elected..

  7. Amen to all these comments, except one. Guess which one that is? Unbelievable what this so called Mayor is and his blatant running the credit card “smokin hot!” And yes, where are all the masks for you elites????

  8. “Forms of Slavery ” ?
    Is this in reference to Qatar’s using of the Palestinians ?
    Or are they only considered to be more pawns, than slaves?
    Either way I do hope he discussed a possible solution for the Jewish problem with them.

    “Qatar Is Using the Palestinians to Assert Its Regional Influence
    It probably won’t work out well for either party. “

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