Qatar’s Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday the country signed a deal to buy F-15 fighter jets from the United States for $12 billion.
The deal was completed despite the Gulf country being criticized recently by U.S. President Donald Trump for supporting terrorism.
“Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met today with Qatari Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid al-Attiyah to discuss concluding steps in finalizing the Foreign Military Sales purchase of US-manufactured F-15 fighter aircraft by the State of Qatar. The $12 billion sale will give Qatar a state of the art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Roger Cabiness told media.
“The secretary and the minister also discussed mutual security interests, including the current status of operations against ISIS, and the importance of de-escalating tensions so all partners in the Gulf region can focus on next steps in meeting common goals,” Cabiness added.
The sale will increase security cooperation and interoperability between the U.S. and Qatar, the Pentagon said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
Defense Secretary Mattis and Qatari Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid al-Attiyah also discussed the current state of operations against the ISIS and the importance of de-escalating tensions so all partners in the gulf region can focus on next steps in meeting common goals, the Pentagon added.
In November, the United States approved possible sale of up to 72 F-15QA aircraft to Qatar for $21.1 billion. Boeing Co is the prime contractor on the fighter jet sale to the Middle East nation.
Boeing declined to comment.
The announcement comes after a week of somewhat mixed messages from the Trump administration regarding the spat between Doha and number of Arab nations.
Trump on Friday accused Qatar of being a “high-level” sponsor of terrorism, potentially hindering the U.S. Department of State’s efforts to ease heightening tensions and a blockade of the Gulf nation by Arab states and others.