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The US State Department on 29 November announced the approval of a potential sale of anti-drone systems to Qatar, in a weapons deal valued at $1 billion.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in [West Asia],” the state department press release reads.
The statement goes on to say that the deal will “require the assignment of five additional US Government and 15 US contractor representatives to Qatar for a duration of five years to support fielding, training, and sustainment activities.”
Per the terms of the deal, the principal contractors will be Raytheon Technologies Corp, Scientific Research Corporation (SRC), and Northrop Grumman Corp, all US-based weapon companies that have seen their stock surge this year thanks to the west’s unlimited spending to fuel the war in Ukraine.
Earlier this year, US President Joe Biden designated Qatar as a “major non-NATO ally,” officially upgrading the economic and military partnership between Doha and Washington.
“Qatar is a good friend and reliable and capable partner. And I’m notifying Congress that I will designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally to reflect the importance of our relationship. I think it’s long overdue,” Biden said in January, during a meeting with Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
According to the US State Department website, becoming a major non-NATO ally “is a powerful symbol of the close relationship the United States shares with those countries and demonstrates our deep respect for the friendship for the countries to which it is extended.”
Qatar has recently become a significant source of hope for energy-starved western nations, which have been scrambling all year to replace the loss of Russian fuel caused by sanctions and sabotage attacks.