Qatar signs $12-bln deal with United States for 36 F-15 jets

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Bloomberg reports that the $12bn deal was signed by Qatari defence minister Khalid Al-Attiyah and his United States counterpart, Jim Mattis in Washington on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON: The sale of 36 US F-15 jets to Qatar is "more of a procedural" move than a "political" one, a United States defense analyst told Arab News, adding that defense and security ties between Doha and Washington remain integral to American interests. Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is home to more than 11,000 U.S. and coalition troops.

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.

Qatar has signed a $12bn deal to buy F-15 fighters jets from the US.

The biggest U.S. airbase in the Middle East is situated in Qatar and the country often helps United States troops in fights against Isis in Iraq and Syria.

The signing comes as Mattis has offered his support to Qatar in the past.

Meanwhile, the USS Chinook, a coastal patrol ship, and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Baranof both were in Doha on Thursday, said Cmdr.

Gargash tweeted Qatar's reputation has been damaged and said it is important that Doha makes a U-turn before it's too late.

"U.S. 5th Fleet ships conduct similar port visits throughout the region as part of our normal operations", Urban said.

Speaking to the House armed services committee Monday, Mattis called the diplomatic situation "very complex", acknowledging the large US military presence and close US-Qatar military relationship.

"We want to hear the views of Saudi Arabia regarding possible solutions and will share with them our views in a transparent way".

This week, the disconnect between what Trump says and what the Trump administration does became even more obvious.

The dispute began in May when Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani was reported to have made statements on the state news agency supporting Iran.

Turkey is friendly to Qatar and has sent food supplies since the sanctions were imposed.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday the crisis between Qatar and some Arab countries should be resolved "through peace and dialogue". The UAE has also chose to blacklist Qatari individuals and entities. But its cutoff air travel routes remain problematic.

Qatar had asked the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to intervene after its Gulf neighbors closed their airspace to Qatar flights.

In Washington, a State Department spokeswoman said the United States continued to work with Qatar and other governments in the region and the planes deal had been years in the making.

"We are friends, we've been friends now for a long time, haven't we?"

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