Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Qatar Purchase of US Fighter Jets Not Escalating Diplomatic Row - Turkish FM

Qatar Purchase of US Fighter Jets Not Escalating Diplomatic Row - Turkish FM

A statement to CNN from the Pentagon says the agreement will "increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar". It added Mattis and Attiyah had discussed current operations against Isis and the importance of de-escalating tensions in the Gulf.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and representatives from Qatar met on Wednesday to seal the agreement, which Bloomberg News reported was for 36 jets.

A deal for the "state-of-the-art" F-15 fighter jets was signed by Qatar in Washington, which has sent conflicting signals to its longtime ally in the crisis that has seen Saudi Arabia and its allies impose sweeping sanctions on the emirate.

On Wednesday, media reported that Doha would buy U.S. fighter jets F-15 Eagle worth about $12 billion.

Qatar has signed a deal to buy $12bn worth of F15 fighter jets from the USA, despite President Donald Trump's claims that the state has been funding terrorist organisations.

Pakistan has been treading a careful path since Saudi and other Gulf countries snapped diplomatic ties with Qatar after accusing the oil-rich country of supporting terrorist groups. "Our militaries are like brothers".

HE Dr al-Attiyah noted that the signing of the agreement is "yet another step in advancing our strategic and co-operative defense relationship with the U.S. and we look forward to continuing our joint military efforts with our partners here in the United States". Erdogan said he had never witnessed Doha supporting terrorism, adding Turkey "will continue to give all kinds of support to Qatar".

More Arab and Muslim-majority African countries later joined the diplomatic blockade, even as several powers have called for resolving the crisis. Bahrain and the UAE have also made illegal expressions of sympathy for Qatar. Kuwait has also been mediating.

"If I was betting now, I would suggest this is going to go on for a very long time", Roberts said of the crisis.

Qatar has filed complaints to the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN agency, calling the Arab nations' refusal to let it fly through their airspace illegal. More than 100 aircraft operate from there. "We need to overcome it through peace and dialogue", Cavusoglu said, underlining that Turkey was contributing to the peace process.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday held talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Sabah in a bid to help resolve the conflict between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours.

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