Despite Gulf crisis, US OKs $1bn Qatar arms deal

Source: AFP | By I.G. Bhatkali | Published on 4th November 2017, 3:39 PM | Gulf News | Global News |

WASHINGTON (AFP): The US government has approved a $1.1 billion deal to service Qatar’s F-15 fighter jets despite the country’s diplomatic standoff with the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) — comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE.

US President Donald Trump took Riyadh’s side in June when the ATQ cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

On Wednesday, the State Department announced it had approved a $1.1 billion contract to service Qatar’s F-15QA jets and build them ground facilities and hardened bunkers.

“Qatar is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the region,” the department said, in a note from its Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

“Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Qatar Emiri Air Force plays a predominant role in Qatar’s defense.”

The new maintenance and training facilities will also come with improved “cybersecurity services, mission critical computer resources, support services, force protection services.”

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