In Brief

Donald Trump signs Qatar arms deal

US President agrees $12bn deal with country he previously dubbed a 'high-level' funder of terrorism

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.

The agreement to supply dozens of F-15 jets to the Gulf state "is the latest twist in the highly contradictory US diplomacy over the crisis around Qatar", says The Guardian. It "underlines the reigning confusion inside the Trump administration as it handles one of its first big foreign policy crises".

The emirate is facing the second week of severe economic and diplomatic sanctions, led by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, over accusations it funds terrorist groups, a charge Qatar denies.

The deal is going ahead despite the US President's condemnation of Qatar last week, when he also appeared to take partial credit for the blockade. 

A statement to CNN from the Pentagon says the agreement will "increase security cooperation and interoperability between the United States and Qatar".

"Our militaries are like brothers. America's support for Qatar is deep-rooted and not easily influenced by political changes," a Qatari official said.

Qatar is home to the largest US military base in the Middle East and the deal "reaffirms the traditionally close ties between the two countries", says Vice News

However, it will be a "cause of concern" for Washington's other allies in the region, most notably Saudi Arabia, which led the push to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

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