Qatar signs pact with U.S. to buy F-15 jets

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"Although the kingdom is a party in this crisis, we know that King Salman is a party in resolving it", the Turkish minister said.

Qatar's Ministry of Defence said that the deal would create 60,000 jobs in 42 U.S. states while reducing the burden on American forces.

In a sense, US President Donald Trump "wants to be able to have honest discussions with Qatar as a friendly nation, not as an adversary", the analyst added.

In Washington, a State Department spokeswoman said the United States continued to work with Qatar and other governments in the region and the planes deal had been years in the making.

Last week, five Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen - cut off ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of what they called supporting terrorism.

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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Qatar hosts the regional headquarters for the US Central Command, which includes a state-of-the-art airbase that the US depends on to target the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In another development, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held talks in Doha with with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and Economy and Trade Minister Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani.

Conservative Gulf neighbors have long viewed Qatar's foreign policy with suspicion, especially its refusal to shun Shi'ite Iran, and resented its state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera for airing critical views from across the region.

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

The fighter jet deal had been stalled amid concerns raised by Israel that equipment sent to Gulf states could fall into the wrong hands and be used against it, and by the Obama administration's broader decision-making on military aid to the Gulf.

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