The Pentagon said the jets sale would increase security cooperation between the U.S. and Qatar and help them operate together. Al Udeid Air Base is home to more than 11,000 US and coalition troops.
The agreement to supply dozens of F-15 jets to the Gulf state "is the latest twist in the highly contradictory USA diplomacy over the crisis around Qatar", says The Guardian.
Last year, after the State Department approved the jet sale, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued a report saying that the proposed sale "enhances the foreign policy and national security of the United State by helping to improve the security of a friendly country and strengthening our strategically important relationship".
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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.
Qatar's Defense Ministry said the deal would create 60,000 jobs in 42 USA states while reducing the burden on US forces.
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. Kuwait has led efforts to mediate the dispute. "We must lay these out in order to solve this problem", he said.
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Qatar is home to the largest United States military base in the Middle East and the deal "reaffirms the traditionally close ties between the two countries", says Vice News.
The fighter jet deal had been stalled amid concerns raised by Israel that equipment sent to Gulf states could fall into the wrong hands and be used against it, and by the Obama administration's broader decision-making on military aid to the Gulf.
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