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    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

    Qatar Purchase of US Fighter Jets Not Escalating Diplomatic Row - Turkish FM

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    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday he did not consider the Qatar's purchase of US fighter jets a step toward further escalating the crisis between the Gulf countries.

    DUBAI (Sputnik) On Wednesday, media reported that Doha would buy US fighter jets F-15 Eagle worth about $12 billion. It was part of the $21.1-billion deal signed in November, a US State Department official told Sputnik Thursday.

    "I do not see this as an aggravation of the situation. It is quite natural that Qatar buys the weapons it needs for its defense in the same way as the UAE, Kuwait and Egypt do," Cavusoglu said at a press conference in Kuwait, where he arrived from a visit to Qatar, as quoted by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas.

    Cavusoglu recalled that an agreement on cooperation in the field of defense and security between Turkey and Qatar had been in force since 2014, and the Turkish base in Qatar provided security for the entire region. In 2015, Ankara also offered Riyadh to establish a military base on the territory of Saudi Arabia.

    On Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Minister visited Qatar, where he held talks with its emir regarding the settlement of the crisis between the Doha and its neighbors. After that, he went to Kuwait, which also tries to play the role of an intermediary for the restoration of relations between Doha and the Arab countries.

    On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and embargoed all sea, air and land traffic to the country, accusing Doha of supporting terrorists and destabilizing the Middle East, and several other states of the region reduced diplomatic relations with the country. On June 6, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would continue to develop relations with Qatar and would make efforts to resolve the crisis through dialogue.


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