Finance

Qatar signs $12 billion deal to buy F-15 jets from US

Qatar signs $12 billion deal to buy F-15 jets from US

The report by CNN said US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the Qatari #Minister Of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid al-Attiyah had a meeting Thursday where they discussed final stages in the Military Sales purchase of American F-15 fighter jets by the government of Qatar.

While Trump appeared to back Saudi Arabia and Tillerson took a more neutral tone, the Defense Department underscored its relations with Qatar, saying the USA was grateful to the country for its support of the United States presence there. Given the recent diplomatic tensions in the region, the move will likely be a cause of concern for the U.S.'s other allies in the region, most notably Saudi Arabia, which led the push to cut Qatar off from other countries in the region.

The Pentagon justified the massive sale by saying the jets-reportedly 39 of them-would increase "security cooperation" between the two countries.

In November, the United States approved possible sale of up to 72 F-15QA aircraft to Qatar for $21.1 billion.

"We've obviously got shared interests with Qatar".

Cavusoglu also said he would visit Kuwait later on Wednesday and meet Saudi Arabian King Salman Bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Friday in Mecca to resolve the Gulf crisis.

The Qatari Defense Ministry also issued a statement regarding the F-15 deal. "America's support for Qatar is deep-rooted and not easily influenced by political changes", said an unnamed Qatari official in Doha, according to the news agency Reuters.

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Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several other Sunni-majority countries have severed relations with Qatar since June 5, accusing the Gulf state of supporting terrorism based on its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Taliban.

Qatar is also home to Al-Udeid, the U.S. military's largest base in the Middle East.

"Turkey stands on the same distance from Qatar and Saudi Arabia", Cavusoglu said.

"The US' top diplomat since attempted to mediate between the two sides, and on Tuesday the US State Department said efforts to resolve the crisis were trending in a positive direction".

One of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the private talks, said the airspace dispute would be hard to resolve because it is a symptom of a larger row between the countries.

Energy-rich Qatar, whose land, maritime and aviation routes have been interrupted by a quartet comprising Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, sent officials to Montreal, where the UN aviation agency is based.


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