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U-turn to reassure Qatar

( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-06-19 07:06:55

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his Qatari counterpart Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah recently signed an initial agreement for a $12-billion sale of US-manufactured F-15 fighters to Qatar.

The sale came amid the simmering crisis in the Persian Gulf after Saudi Arabia and its regional allies accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and cut diplomatic ties with Doha following US President Donald Trump's tour of the Middle East during which he alleged the emirate's involvement in "high-level funding" of terrorism. On the same day as the deal, two US warships arrived at Qatar's Hamad Port for a joint military drill in the Gulf.

In a statement after the agreement, Qatar's defense ministry said the deal highlighted the joint efforts of Qatar and the United States to fulfill their commitments to bilateral military cooperation. Coming a few days after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates launched a diplomatic embargo against Qatar, the move by the US reflects the Trump administration's diplomatic ambivalence toward the Middle East region.

U-turn to reassure Qatar

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