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US fighter jet deal, ship visit show military links to Qatar

US fighter jet deal, ship visit show military links to Qatar

The Pentagon reassurance differed from US President Donald Trump's comments that applauded the decision, via Twitter.

The Pentagon last week renewed praise of Qatar for hosting the U.S. airbase and for its "enduring commitment to regional security".

Trump said "Nations came together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behavior".

The final deal, first reported by Bloomberg News, is a welcome win for Boeing, which just a year ago appeared to be running out of customers for its F-15 line. He said Al-Jazeera, the Qatari-backed television network that has drawn particular consternation from Qatar's neighbors, would likely be on the list of issues Qatar address would have to address.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said the closure of its airspace to flights from Qatar was within the kingdom's sovereign right to protect its citizens from any threat.

Davis also refused to weigh in on whether he views Qatar as a "supporter of terrorism", saying that he is not "the right person" to make a judgement.

As of June 10, eight countries cut their ties with Qatar, namely Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Yemen, Mauritania, Maldives and Comoros.

Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse gas-rich Doha of supporting Islamist extremists in what is the worst crisis to grip the Gulf in years.

Turkey sent its foreign minister to Qatar on Wednesday as part of a drive to fix the rift with fellow Gulf Arab states.

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Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, in Washington for talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, insisted that moves to isolate Qatar were reasonable.

"For this goal, the prime minister will undertake visits to Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey", it said.

Rex Tillerson, the USA secretary of state, later walked Trump's comments back, a welcome move for defense watchers concerned that Trump's statement would endanger the use of Al-Udeid Air Base, a central part of the US air war in Iraq and Syria.

"Saudi Arabia has the resources and the ability to solve this crisis as the sensible state in the region", he added.

These policies helped the region's largest airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, to develop their home airports as hubs linking passengers travelling between the east and west.

"We call upon the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to declare this an illegal act", al-Baker said in a statement.

"I don't think there is any reason that people need to be concerned about what's happening, or any speculation on the Qatari riyal".

Turkey is in a delicate position as Ankara regards Qatar as its chief ally in the Gulf, but it is also keen to maintain its improving relations with regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia.


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