$12B deal signed amid Gulf crisis
Doha signed an agreement Wednesday with Washington to buy $12 billion worth of F-15 jets, according to Qatar’s defense ministry.
Defense Minister Khalid Al Attiyah and his U.S. counterpart, James Mattis signed the deal in Washington, the Qatar News Agency said.
The Pentagon said in a statement the deal "will give Qatar a state of the art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar”.
The U.S. Congress agreed last year to sell fighter jets to Qatar while the latest deal came after a recent Gulf crisis began between some Arab states and Qatar.
Two U.S. warships arrived in Qatar’s Hamad Port on Wednesday to conduct a joint military drill but details have not been shared, Qatar News Agency was quoted.
Last week, five Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen -- cut off ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
Qatar has denied the accusations, calling the moves to diplomatically isolate it “unjustified”.
Turkey has said that it stands with the tiny Gulf state against sanctions and has urged Riyadh to take the lead in finding a solution to the crisis.