Monday, 24 September, 2018

Donald Trump signs Qatar arms deal

The suspension appeared to be caused by an'organised campaign The suspension appeared to be caused by an'organised campaign
Ellis Copeland | 18 June, 2017, 01:43

"America's support for Qatar is deep-rooted and not easily influenced by political changes", a Qatari official said.

"This is of course proof that USA institutions are with us but we have never doubted that", a Qatari official in Doha said.

Qatar is an important base for the US military carrying out operations against Islamic State militants and other groups in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and beyond.

The US has signed a $12bn (£9.4bn) arms deal with Qatar, despite Donald Trump's claim that the country is a "high-level funder" of terrorism.

Qatar is facing an economic and diplomatic boycott by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies who cut ties in the worst rift among Persian Gulf Arab states in years.

WASHINGTON: The sale of 36 US F-15 jets to Qatar is "more of a procedural" move than a "political" one, a U.S. defense analyst told Arab News, adding that defense and security ties between Doha and Washington remain integral to American interests.

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Two US warships arrived at Hamad port in Qatar on Wednesday as part of a planned joint military exercise involving marine forces, Qatar's state news agency said.

Cavusoglu held talks in Kuwait with his counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah on Thursday to push mediation efforts aimed at resolving the standoff between a Saudi-led alliance and Qatar. Qatar hosts the regional headquarters for U.S. Central Command, which includes a state-of-the-art air base the U.S. depends on to target "Islamic State".

Cavusoglu also said he would visit Kuwait later Wednesday and meet Saudi Arabian king Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Friday in Mecca.

A statement to CNN from the Pentagon says the agreement will "increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar".

"It indicates that the US Department of Defense under Mattis is performing the grunt work of keeping the US-Qatari security relationship moving forward", Heras said.

A Saudi-led blockade imposed against Qatar raised fears of a food crisis in Qatar, as most of its supplies come from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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