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etvfutures.com August 17, 2017


Qatar, US sign $12 b military deal amid gulf crisis

19 June 2017, 01:10 | Opal Carroll

Last week, five Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen - cut off ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

The agreement to supply dozens of F-15 jets to the Gulf state "is the latest twist in the highly contradictory U.S. diplomacy over the crisis around Qatar", says The Guardian.

The agreement is for the purchase of a number of F-15 fighter jets, a sale which the Pentagon says will ensure that Qatar has "state-of-the-art" defensive capabilities.

Visiting Kuwait on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Qatari officials denied causing the crisis. Qatar is the richest nation on the planet in per-capital GDP, but a very small nation to be spending $12 billion on warplanes. The crisis is a culmination of long standing grievances between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, revolving around the Syrian civil war, Hamas, and Iran. This comes just days after the US President publicly condemned Qatar for supporting terrorism.

America's largest airbase in the Middle East, al-Udeid, is in Qatar.

Trump, who took office in January, has accused Qatar of being a "high-level" sponsor of terrorism, potentially hindering the State Department's efforts to help ease the worst diplomatic crisis between Gulf Arab states for years. "Take that, Qatar! Feel the wrath of the Trump".

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Turkey and Qatar have both provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - a broad movement whose Islamist goals are anathema to Egypt's ex-military president, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and to numerous Gulf's dynastic rulers.

Tillerson said last week that the rift was hindering the campaign against Islamic State and Mattis on Wednesday signed the previously approved warplane deal with the Qatari defence minister, Khalid al-Attiyah.

The Pentagon told Reuters in a statement that the agreement to purchase the F15 jets would pave the way for further cooperation between the two states in terms of security and military operations.

"Given the high volume of food production in Iran and the current restrictions placed on Qatar, we are fully ready to provide the Arab country with its required food supplies", he added. Its feeder flights in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also been disrupted.

"We are receiving reports that specific individuals have already been summarily instructed to leave the country they are residing in, or have been ordered to return home by their own government", Hussein said. Bahrain and the UAE have also made illegal expressions of sympathy for Qatar.



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