Trump Authorizes $12 Billion Arms Deal With Qatar Despite Accusations
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 1:38
The Bloomberg News quoted a Defense Department statement as saying that Qatari Defense Minister Khalid Al-Attiyah and his USA counterpart, Jim Mattis, completed the $12 billion agreement on Wednesday in Washington.
A $12 billion deal to buy Boeing F-15 USA fighter jets shows Qatar has deep-rooted support from Washington, a Qatari official said on Thursday, adding that its rift with some other Arab states had not hurt the U.S. relationship with Doha.
Cabiness said the defense secretary and the minister also considered bilateral security cooperation which includes mode of operations against Islamic State, and the necessity of de-escalating the growing tension in the Gulf region so that all partners and allies can concentrate on the next stage in achieving mutual goals, he added.
According to Bloomberg News, Qatar has signed to buy 36 F-15 jets.
On Wednesday, media reported that Doha would buy USA fighter jets F-15 Eagle worth about $12 billion.
That deal was worth an estimated value of $21 billion.
On June 6, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would continue to develop relations with Qatar and would make efforts to resolve the crisis through dialogue. Over 11,000 worldwide forces, including USA forces, are stationed on the base used by the global coalition in the fight against terrorism in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
President Trump took the Saudi side - a position quickly countered by the Pentagon, which has praised Qatar for hosting the USA airbase and for its "enduring commitment to regional security". Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is home to more than 11,000 USA and coalition troops.
The US position was further muddied last Friday, when Tillerson called on Saudi Arabia to ease the blockade, only to have Trump, at a White House news conference hours later, say the blockade had been the right move.
US officials stressed neutrality towards the conflict at the time, highlighting the thousands of USA troop based out of Qatar and its close relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Tillerson has since sought to mediate the dispute from Washington, meeting with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Monday.
On Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Minister visited Qatar, where he held talks with its emir regarding the settlement of the crisis between the Doha and its neighbors.
Defense analyst Nicholas A. Heras of the Center for a New American Security said the agreement falls under the category of "long-running deals that need to be cleared after review by different elements of the U.S. government".