Turkish FM: Qatar Wants An End to Crisis

Force F-15 fighter jet does a low-level flyby over Forward Operating Base Bostick in eastern Afghanistan

Force F-15 fighter jet does a low-level flyby over Forward Operating Base Bostick in eastern Afghanistan

Just days after President Donald Trump publicly scolded Qatar for being a "high level" exporter of regional terrorism in the Middle East, its government announced Wednesday the signing of a deal to buy $12 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets from us weapons makers.

The sale "will give Qatar a state of the art capability and increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar", the Defense Department said in a statement, according to the publication.

Cabiness said the defense secretary and the minister also considered bilateral security cooperation which includes mode of operations against Islamic State, and the necessity of de-escalating the growing tension in the Gulf region so that all partners and allies can concentrate on the next stage in achieving mutual goals, he added.

In November, under the administration of Barack Obama, the United States approved a possible sale of up to 72 F-15QA aircraft to Qatar for $21.1 billion.

The US has signed a $12bn (£9.4bn) arms deal with Qatar, despite Donald Trump's claim that the country is a "high-level funder" of terrorism.

Cavusoglu also said he would visit Kuwait later on Wednesday and meet Saudi Arabian King Salman Bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Friday in Mecca to resolve the Gulf crisis.

The sale will increase security cooperation and interoperability between the USA and Qatar, the Pentagon said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

The crews of the two vessels were received by Qatari navy officers, QNA said, citing a statement from the country's defense ministry.

Tillerson has since sought to mediate the dispute from Washington, meeting with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Monday.

"Pakistan has told Saudi Arabia it will not take sides in the brewing diplomatic crisis in the Middle East [West Asia] after Riyadh asked Islamabad "are you with us or with Qatar"," the paper said.

Qatar is facing an economic and diplomatic boycott by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies who cut ties last week, in the worst rift among Gulf Arab states in years.

He was quoted by Kuwait's al-Qabas newspaper and Qatar-based Al Jazeera as saying that Turkey had a neutral stance toward Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

"Qatar and the United States have solidified their military cooperation by having fought together side by side for many years now in an effort to eradicate terrorism and promote a future of dignity and prosperity", al-Attiyah said in a statement. "We pay a great attention to our relations with them", he said.