US, Qatar agree F-15 fighter sale

Qatar, US sign $12B deal on purchase of F-15 jet fighters

But that was before Qatar's neighbours, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, severed diplomatic, trade and transport links last week in a move that they said was aimed at isolating the country for its support of terrorist groups and Iran.

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.

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). Kuwait has led efforts to mediate the dispute.

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Regionally, it emphasizes Mattis' vision "to have a balanced relationship with all of America's Gulf Arab partner states, and this move shows that the White House is coming around to the need to strike the appropriate balance between pressuring Qatar and continuing to work closely with it", Heras said. Al Udeid Air Base is home to more than 11,000 US and coalition troops.

"We share our views to resolve this problem and remain impartial, but we say what is wrong without hesitation", Cavusoglu said on his return to Ankara from Kuwait on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Qatari news agency reported Wednesday that two US Navy vessels arrived in Doha to take part in a joint military exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy. The foreign ministry said foreign affairs minister Youssef bin Alawi called for support of Kuwaiti mediation efforts as the best chance for resolving the crisis.

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Qatar on Thursday said that preparations for the 2022 World Cup were unhindered, having secured alternative supplies of construction materials to those that had been coming by land from Saudi Arabia.

The sale comes amid a simmering crisis in the Gulf after Qatar's neighbors accused it of supporting terrorism and cut diplomatic ties.

The Pentagon said the jets sale would increase security cooperation between the United States and Qatar and help them operate together.

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