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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Qatar Navy to Bolster Fleet With 7 New Warships

Image result for Qatar and four other Arab nations: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt

One of the biggest buyers of US military equipment in the world, Qatar, has decided go in a different direction for its next purchase of combat warships. Spoiler: Russia didn’t get the contract either.

The second-richest country in the world by GDP per capita ($129,700) agreed to a deal with Italy "to acquire seven warships" for $5.9 billion, the Qatari Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday.

The news was delivered during a joint news conference held by Qatari and Italian diplomats in Doha.

The emissaries gathered to discuss the diplomatic row, unresolved since June, between Qatar and four other Arab nations: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Qatar has been accused of funding terrorism and being too cozy with Iran, a charge Doha has denied outright.

Riyadh and the other three nations include in their list of 13 demands that Doha end support of the Muslim Brotherhood (banned by Russia as a terrorist organization), Al-Qaeda, the Nusra Front/Fateh al-Sham and Hezbollah; shut down Al Jazeera; and adopt a firmer stance against Tehran.

Doha says the demands violate Qatari national sovereignty.

Kuwait has emerged as the mediator between Qatar and the other Arab states. On Wednesday, though, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said the bloc “showed no intention to resolve the crisis peacefully,” during a meeting between the parties on Sunday, Italy’s The Local reported.

In a conflicting Tuesday report, Qatari Minister of State for Defense Khalid bin Mohammad Attiyah said the dispute “should be resolved only through dialogue,” and military options had been eliminated “for many reasons,” Sputnik Egypt reported.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano urged a relaxation of tensions and encouraged a new way forward that demonstrates “respect for international law,” The Local added.

The Council on Foreign Relations’ Max Abrahms tweeted on July 19, "Saudi Arabia had to manufacture misdeeds by Qatar because Saudi Arabia participated in many of Qatar’s actual misdeeds."

Credit to Sputnik

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