Qatar says fighter jets deal shows deep US support

Qatar, US sign $12B deal on purchase of F-15 jet fighters

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.

US President Donald Trump has signalled his support for the Saudi-led move but other US officials have been more cautious and called for dialogue to end the crisis.

Qatar hosts the biggest U.S. military base in the Middle East with more than 11,000 troops deployed or assigned to al-Udeid Air Base.

In November, under the administration of former President Barack Obama, the United States approved a possible sale of up to 72 F-15QA aircraft to Qatar for $21.1 billion.

Regionally, it emphasizes Mattis' vision "to have a balanced relationship with all of America's Gulf Arab partner states, and this move shows that the White House is coming around to the need to strike the appropriate balance between pressuring Qatar and continuing to work closely with it", Heras said.

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In another development, two US Navy vessels arrived in the Gulf on Wednesday for a joint exercise with Qatar's fleet, according to Doha state media. Al Udeid Air Base is home to more than 11,000 U.S. and coalition troops.

Qatar which is under diplomatic troubles in the Arabian peninsula with Saudi, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain cutting their ties with the nation has signed a military pact with the U.S for USD12 Billion where it would be acquiring F-15 Fighter Jets. "We must lay these out in order to solve this problem", he 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.

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

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

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