US sells Qatar $12 billion in weapons days after accusing it of funding terrorism

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Qatar is going to sign a deal for the purchase of 36 F-15 jets from the US with the two countries navigating tensions brought on by the backing of US President Donald Trump for Saudi-led coalitions move in trying to isolate the country as it supports terrorism.

Khalid Al-Attiyah, the Qatari Defense Minister and Kim Mattis, his counterpart in the US have completed a deal that is said to be worth $12 billion according to the Pentagon.

Qatar Will Have State Of The Art Capability To Increase Security

The Defense Department said that the sale of the F-15 jets will ensure that Qatar has a state of the art capability along with increasing the security cooperation and interoperability between Qatar and the US.

Just last year Congress gave approval of a sale for up to 72 F-15s which was said to have been worth $21 billion, which provided authorization for the deal which had been completed on Wednesday. However, this was before the neighbors of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia had severed links including trade, diplomatic and transport, last week which it was said that they had done to isolate the country for their support of the terrorist groups along with Iran.

Trump Has To Balance Focus On Terrorism With Rivalries Of Key Allies

The sale of the F-15 only highlights the position that President Donald Trump and his administration have found themselves in. They are now forced to have to balance their focus on going up against terrorism against that of regional rivalries between what are key allies. Qatar hosts regional headquarters for the US Central Command and this includes an air base that is state of the art and which the US is dependent on for targeting Islamic State.

Middle East Expert Says Mixed Messages Should Not Be Given

A Middle East specialist, Paul Sullivan, said that it is confusing and one of the worst things that someone should do in a delicate and heated situation is to give out mixed messages.

The Qatar Defense Ministry have said that the deal would bring about 60,000 jobs to the US among its 42 states and at the same time it would reduce the burden on the forces in the US. The F-15 deal is going to lead to a strategic collaboration that is closer in the fight to overcome violent extremism along with promoting stability and peace in the region, according to the ministry. When the Gulf countries made a move against Qatar, Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, has declined to take sides but he has taken a stance that is cautious and this has been overshadowed by Trump almost straight away, when he went on Twitter and seemed to take all the credit along with praising the decision.

The position of the US has been even more muddied when last Friday Tillerson asked Saudi Arabia to ease back on the blockade but then President Trump gave a news conference at the White House just hours later, to say that the move had been right.

Trump Said Qatar Funded Terrorism At High Level

In a speech given at the White House, President Trump said that the nation of Qatar had funded terrorism at a level that is very high. He went on to say that they were asking Qatar along with other nations to do more and to make sure that they do it faster.

Tillerson has wanted to mediate the dispute and do it from Washington; he met with the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia on Monday. He had been scheduled to meet up with another Saudi coalition member, the foreign minister of the U.A.E on Wednesday for dinner.

A spokesperson for the State Department said that she would characterize the mood along with the approach to one as being hopeful, with the belief that the worst is behind us.

Trump had appeared to be behind Saudi Arabia, while Tillerson took a tone that was more neutral. Relations have been underscored between the Defense Department and Qatar and said that the US was grateful to the country for all their support of the US and them being present.

The jet sale had been approved by the State Department last year and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency gave a report which said that the proposed sale only went to enhance the national security and foreign policy of the United States as it helped to improve the security of what is a friendly country along with being able to strengthen important relationships.

It was said by the agency that Qatar is an important force for economic progress and political stability in the Persian Gulf.

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