DOHA, June 15( Reuters) – A $12 billion agreement to buy U.S. F-1 5 fighter jets shows Qatar has deep-rooted endorsement from Washington, a Qatari official said on Thursday, despite President Donald Trump‘s recited accusations that Doha supports terrorism.
Qatar is facing a severe economic and diplomatic boycott by Saudi Arabia and the various regional collaborators who cut ties last week, in the worst gap among Gulf Arab states in years. They accuse Qatar of funding terrorism, provoking regional dissension and cosying up to their foe Iran, all of which Qatardenies.
The fighter jet deal passed amid increased diplomacy to try to resolve the crisis.
Trump has repeatedly echoed the accusations against Qatar, even as his Defense and State Departments have tried to remain neutral in such disputes among key allies. Qatar hosts a big U.S. armed locate house the installation of U.S. united states air force in the Middle East.
On Wednesday U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed the is approved Boeing plane deal with Qatari Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid al-Attiyah. Qatar‘s diplomat to the United States, Meshal Hamad al-Thani, announced a picture of the signature ceremony on Twitter.
” This is of course proof that U.S. institutes are with us but we have never disbelieved that ,” a Qatari official in Doha read.” Our armeds are like brethren. America’s support for Qatar is deep-rooted and not readily were affected by the political developments .”
In Washington, a State Department spokeswoman said the United States continued to work with Qatar and other governments in the region and the planes distribute had been years in the making.
” We see it as a definite substantiate of support for our justification tie-in and their commitment to the United States ,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.
A Qatari security department informant said the consider was for 36 flows. In November, under the management of onetime President obama, the United States approved a probable sale of up to 72 F-1 5QA aircraft to Qatar for $21.1 billion. Boeing, the main contractor on the sale, declined to comment.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, on a Gulf tour trying to help broker an dissolve to the crisis, represented the deal.
” Just like other countries, like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt … it is natural forQatar to buy airplanes or divisions may be required for its own defense ,” Cavusoglu said in Kuwait following talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.
Turkey is friendly to Qatar and has sent food supplies since the sanctions were enforced. Kuwait has led efforts to mediate such disputes which had affected menu imports and raised questions over the Gulf Arab state’s plans to host the 2022 World Cup.
A European mediator in the Gulf said the timing of the agreement saw coincidental.
” Presumably the U.S. could have delayed the transaction if they’d wanted to, although I don’t think there’s a great connect between marketings and foreign policy .”
IMPORTANT AIR BASE
Qatar is an important base for the U.S. armed carrying on business as functionings against Islamic State activists and other groups in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and beyond. Al Udeid Air Base is home to more than 11,000 U.S. and coalition troops.
Two U.S. warships arrived at Hamad port in Qatar as part of a planned brace military practise implying naval pressures, Qatar‘s district news agency said on Wednesday.
Cavusoglu, who visited Qatar and Kuwait to try to push diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, said here on Thursday he intends to travel to Saudi Arabia on Friday for talks with Saudi King Salman bucket Abdulaziz about the crisis.
” Saudi Arabia is important and the Saudi King is respected by everyone. Our expectation from King Salman is that he be the ruler in solving this question ,” Cavusoglu answered at a joint press conference with his Tunisian counterpart.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke by phone with his Omani counterpart, Oman state news agency reported. The foreign ministry said foreign affairs executive Youssef bin Alawi called for support of Kuwaiti mediation exertions as best available hazard for resolving the crisis.
Turkey and Qatar have both provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – a broad-minded shift whose Islamist goals are anathema to Egypt’s ex-military president, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and to many of the Gulf’s dynastic rulers.
Conservative Gulf neighbors have long viewed Qatar‘s foreign policy with thought, peculiarly its has refused to shun Shi’ite Iran, and resented its state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera for airing critical comments from across the region.
Qatar on Thursday said that preparations for the 2022 World Cup were unhindered, having assured alternative supplyings of structure materials to those that had been coming by shore from Saudi Arabia.
Qatar‘s central port was also bustling with carries delivering food supplies and construction materials, observers said.
The Pentagon said here jet-blacks auction would increase security cooperation between the United States and Qatar and help them operate together. It added that Mattis and Attiyah had also discussed the current state of operations against Islamic State and the importance of de-escalating strains in the Gulf.
The fighter jet deal had been stalled amid concerns raised by Israel that gear sent to Gulf commonwealths could fall into the bad paws and be used against it, and by the Obama administration’s broader decision-making on military aid to the Gulf.
Trump, who took office in January, has accused Qatar of being a ” high-level ” patronize of terrorism, potentially impeding the State Department’s efforts to help ease the diplomatic crisis.
( Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal in Dubai and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara Writing by Sylvia Westall and Sami Aboudi; Editing by Anna Willard and James Dalgleish )
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