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Qatar Plans Military Deal with US as a Way Out of its Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A view shows Abu Samra border crossing to Saudi Arabia, in Qatar June 12, 2017. (Reuters)

Jeddah– Qatar is pressing ahead with plans to invest in the US to show that the political crisis with Saudi Arabia and its allies hasn’t impacted its ability to strike global deals, according to a report issued by Bloomberg.

Doha is trying to influence Washington’s position supporting the four states boycotting it: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain and to highlight its strong ties with the US.

As part of the agreements, Qatar signed a deal to buy 36 F-15 aircraft in a deal valued at $12 billion.

Qatar Investment Authority is working to identify possible acquisition targets with areas of interest including infrastructure and technology, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s report stated that Doha allocated about $50 billion for these deals and assigned $35 billion for various US short-term investments hoping that more deals could help improve ties with the US after President Donald Trump publicly sided with the Saudi alliance.

Meanwhile, military analysts considered Qatar’s Defense Minister Khalid al-Attiyah’s latest statement a message for Iran and Houthis for future cooperation.

Earlier, Attiyah announced that Doha has found itself forced to join the Arab Coalition in Yemen, adding that Qatar was never inside Yemen, but rather on the Saudi border and at the beginning of the crisis as they were asked to leave the Saudi border and they did.

The analysts stated that the Minister’s statements indicate Qatar’s participation was not for the best interest of Gulf or its security, but rather a sort of courtesy. They pointed out that decisions of war can’t be forced on anyone and thus Attiyah’s announcement does not confirm with the concept of military interventions.

Chairman of the Kuwait-based Gulf Forum for Peace and Security Fahd al-Shelaimi said that Qatar’s participation in Yemen comes as being part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and committing to its charter.

Shelaimi added that Qatari officials claim they were under pressures, but he stated that it is shameful for top officials to make allegations. He explained when someone as Attiyah, who is a former Foreign Minister, announces his country was obliged to participate in the Yemeni war, he is certainly sending a message to Houthis and other parties justifying their future collaboration with them.

The Chairman also pointed out that the Qatari statement shows Doha’s decision to join the coalition wasn’t calculated. He added that decisions are not made out of courtesy, especially those of war.

Shelaimi believed this is Qatar’s attempt to reopen channels with Iran and Houthis. He added that within the coming days, further collaboration will manifest on al-Jazeera channel showing support to Houthis.

A Gulf military analyst wondered why Qatar claimed it was forced into the coalition given that it was formed based on approval of all participating countries and belief that security and stability of the Gulf should be maintained in face of Iran’s expansion.

The analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declared that such statements at such a time is a source of concern for the Yemeni National Army and Arab Coalition Forces.