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Qatar Inks Fighter Planes Deal with U.S. as Gulf Crisis Deepens

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June 17, 2017

Qatar will buy 36 F-15 fighter jets from the United States, at a cost of $12 billion, the Pentagon has reported. 

At the same time, two U.S. navy vessels arrived in Qatar, home to America's largest air base in the region, for a joint exercise with the Qatari Emiri navy.

Just last month, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia agreed on a large arms deal that was reported as having a price tag of up to $500 million, for tanks, missile defense systems, and cybersecurity technology.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are on opposite sides of a diplomatic dispute that also involves, all on the Saudi side, Bahrain, Libya, the Maldives, and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar has refuted the other countries' assertions that it harbors terrorist organizations. Also at issue is Qatar's relationship with Iran, which Saudi Arabia and other nations would prefer is an adversarial one.

Qatar faces a blackout of land, sea, and air links from those countries, in a dispute that first flared up in 2014. Qatar also reported that Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE had suspended postal services to Qatar.

Other world leaders have urged the countries involved to resolve the conflict diplomatically. Kuwait's leadership, in particular, has shuttled between the countries involved, pursuing an end to the crisis.

Meanwhile, a well-known Qatari businessman, Power International Holding Chairman Moutaz Al Khayyat, has announced plans to import 4,000 cows to populate a new dairy farm. His plan is to have the farm, about 30 miles north of Doha, in production by July 1.

The country is used to buying most of its fresh dairy products from Saudi Arabia. In the wake of the diplomatic dispute and the closing of the land border between the two countries, Qatar has started importing fresh dairy goods from other countries, namely Iran and Turkey.

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