USA agrees guided missiles for Qatar before Trump talks

Hugh Fox
April 12, 2018

The president previously sided with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other neighbors that had accused Qatar of spreading extremism, fomenting regional unrest and allowing funds to flow to terror groups.

And a readout of the meeting issued later by the White House said "the leaders discussed joint efforts to finalize new commercial deals that would create more than 50,000 American jobs" in addition to discussing Syria and "Iranian and Russian malign influence" there.

Earlier this week, USA officials said the Trump administration was postponing until September a summit with Gulf Arab leaders that had been planned for May.

Trump greeted Qatar's Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Tuesday.

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America's allies in the Persian Gulf are feuding with Qatar.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last week that Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will be meeting with Trump on April 10.

President Donald Trump is welcoming the ruling emir of Qatar to the White House. A lot of countries were funding terrorism and were stopping it.

In a telephone name final week, Trump credited the emir with working to counter terror financing and extremism.

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The Emir told reporters the region could not tolerate "a war criminal" like Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and he said the region cannot accept people who support terrorism. Qatar denies the allegations and says the moves attempt to undermine its sovereignty.

The package of missiles planned to be sold to Qatar contains about 5,000 Advance Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS), including 5,000 high explosive warheads. Qatar denies that cost however has taken steps to deal with USA considerations.

Still, as Trump praised the emir as a "great gentleman" and a "friend of mine", it was unclear how much of the warm reception was due to Trump's time-honored habit of chiding his opponents from afar but then softening when they come face to face. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the laser-guided rockets would help Qatar modernize its military and wouldn't alter the basic military balance in the region.

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