Trump signs Qatar weapons deal despite terrorism claims

03 2013 shows migrant labourers working on a construction site

03 2013 shows migrant labourers working on a construction site

Defense Secretary James Mattis met with Qatari Defense Minister Khalid al-Attiyah to sign off on a previously-approved deal for $12 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets, part of a more-than-$20 billion package approved by Congress and the Obama administration in November 2016, CBS News reported.

Pakistan has been treading a careful path since Saudi and other Gulf countries snapped diplomatic ties with Qatar after accusing the oil-rich country of supporting terrorist groups.

ICAO - a United Nations agency that regulates worldwide air travel under the Chicago Convention - had said it would host talks of ministers and senior officials from Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt to seek a "consensus-based solution" that addressed "current regional concerns".

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

While Trump appeared to back Saudi Arabia and Tillerson took a more neutral tone, the Defense Department underscored its relations with Qatar, saying the U.S. was grateful to the country for its support of the U.S. presence there.

The purchase is expected to increase Qatar's capability, improved security cooperation and interoperability between the two allies, a spokesman for Pentagon Lt. Col. Rogers Cabiness briefed CNN.

The Turkish chief diplomat held talks with Qatar's emir and foreign minister on Wednesday and plans to visit Saudi Arabia.

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The deal was completed despite the Gulf country being criticized recently by US President Donald Trump for supporting terrorism. It is said that it will take a maximum 12 hours for a ship to reach Qatar from Iran's southern ports.

The Qatari Defense Ministry also issued a statement regarding the F-15 deal. More than 100 aircraft operate from there.

The Pentagon meanwhile deployed two warships to carry out joint manoeuvres with the Qatari navy in the Gulf.

Riyadh also closed its border with Qatar, the only land border the emirate has.

As you know, a number of Arab countries severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency during his visit to Qatar's capital, Doha, amid a diplomatic row in the Gulf region, Cavusoglu said the efforts by Turkey so far and the future steps to be taken were discussed during his meetings with several top Qatari officials.

"For now, we are working to bring these states together towards a solution which satisfies both their current regional concerns and the global needs and expectations of passengers and shippers", the statement said.

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