Donald Trump sells Doha $12bn-worth of weapons,' Days after accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism

The United State and Qatar have agreed a $12 billion military deal for US-manufactured F-15 jet fighters, the Pentagon has confirmed, as the tiny Gulf state continues to face a blockade from its neighbouring countries

United State Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid al-Attiyah, signed a letter of agreement on Wednesday.

"The $12 billion sale will give Qatar a state-of-the-art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar," the Pentagon said in a statement.

Mattis and al-Attiyah also discussed mutual security concerns, including the Islamic State group and "the importance of de-escalating tensions so all partners in the Gulf region can focus on next steps in meeting common goals."

The Pentagon did not provide additional details on the sale but Bloomberg reported it could include as many as 36 aircraft.
The State Department last year said it had authorised the sale of 72 F-15 Strike Eagle jets to Qatar.

That deal was worth an estimated value of $21 billion.

But the sale comes amid a simmering crisis in the Gulf after, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen severed ties with Doha, claiming it supported terrorism - a charge which Qatar has strenuously denied.

US President Donald Trump signalled his support for the Saudi-led move, saying on Friday: "The nation of Qatar has unfortunately been a funder of terrorism, and at a very high level."

Other US officials, perhaps mindful of the close links between Washington and Qatar - where more than 10,000 US troops are based - have been more cautious and called for dialogue to end the crisis.

Source: Aralaby

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