India's perplexity in Saudi-Qatar crisis

Posted June 26, 2017

Qatar has gone ahead with plans to buy 36 F-15 jets from the United States despite rhetoric from US President Donald Trump backing the country's Gulf rivals in its current diplomatic dispute.

According to Reuters, Qatar officials and Jim Mattis, the Defense Secretary of the United States, were supposed to meet on Wednesday in order to solidify the agreement.

Congress previous year approved the sale of as many as 72 F-15s in an agreement valued at as much as US$21 billion, providing authorisation for the deal that was completed on Wednesday.

Qatar's neighbors severed diplomatic and transport links to punish it for allegedly backing Islamic militants, a charge the Gulf nation denies.

"We don't want to take any of Djibouti's land", Araya said.

A Qatari deal cited by Reuters says the deal shows "proof that U.S. institutions are with us, but we have never doubted that".

One Western diplomat in Qatar said this would send a message to Doha and other Gulf states.

Defense analyst Nicholas A. Heras of the Center for a New American Security said the agreement falls under the category of "long-running deals that need to be cleared after review by different elements of the United States government".

The agreement was signed few weeks after trump signed a contract with Saudi Arabia for the supply of American weapons nearly 110 billion.

"We are confident that Qatar can address its remaining issues within this timeframe, prior to delivery", said a State Department official, according to the CBS News. About 10,000 American troops are stationed at the al-Udeid airbase near Doha, which has played a key role in campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke by telephone with his Omani counterpart, Oman state news agency reported.

Reconciliation efforts have expanded to resolve the crisis between Qatar and Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, after the intervention of Russian Federation and Morocco; this, in addition to the efforts exerted by Kuwait and the United States since the beginning of the crisis.

The crisis began June 5 when Saudi Arabia and several of its Arab allies cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding terrorism and maintaining too cozy relations with Iran. Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is home to more than 11,000 United States and coalition troops.

Ankara has said that it stands with Qatar against sanctions and has urged Riyadh to take the lead in finding a solution to the crisis.

Bahrain and the UAE have also banned expressions of sympathy for Qatar.