Airbus wins Qatar contract for 50 A320 jets

Sergio Conner
December 8, 2017

Qatar has signed a deal with France to buy 12 French Rafale fighter jets, local media reported on Thursday.

The 1.1-billion-euro ($1.3-billion) order, announced during an official visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, allows for an option to buy a further 36 jets.

Qatar has agreed on purchase of 490 VBCI armored vehicles and 50 Airbus twin-engine A321 airplanes with an option of buying 30 more from France.

The two countries also signed a $3.5 billion deal on the operation and maintenance of the Doha Metro, now being built as the country prepares for the football World Cup in 2022. The GCC members closed their airspace and seaports to Qatar, as well as the small peninsular nation's sole land border with Saudi Arabia.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani oversee the signing of bilateral agreements in Doha

During the joint press conference with the Qatari Emir, Macron said the signed deals prove the strength of ties between the two countries. The Qatari foreign minister said on July 31 that the crisis should be solved through diplomacy without touching Qatar's sovereignty and made it clear that Qatar will not accept any demands that are not in line with worldwide law.

As for Sheikh Tamim, he said his country wants to resolve the rift with the Gulf states "but not at the expense of our dignity". Qatar has denied the allegations and repeatedly called for a negotiated settlement.

"If the brothers want to resolve the dispute, we are ready", he said.

The prospects, however remain increasingly remote. Earlier this week, a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Kuwait failed to bring the standoff any closer to a resolution.

US B-1B bombers to fly over Korea in joint exercise
He said: "We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it". "The outbreak of war is not in any side's interest". More than 28,000 United States troops are stationed there, many living with their families.

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