Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, signed a joint intergovernmental agreement on military technical cooperation on the sidelines of the Russian minister’s visit to Doha.
Shoigu arrived to Doha yesterday on his first-ever official visit to Gulf state, during which he is scheduled to meet with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, to discuss global and regional security issues.
Russia’s Sputnik reported that the representatives of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the Qatari Defense Ministry signed a memorandum and a framework contract in the defense sector in the presence of Shoigu and his Qatari counterpart.
Al Attiyah recently announced the country’s interest in the cooperation with Russia in the defence sector, especially in the modern Russian technologies. “Doha wants to purchase Russian technologies for production of air defence systems,” he said
Historically, Qatar used to buy US weaponry, with Doha ranking first in the world in terms of money spent on US-made weapons and military equipment in 2015.
This visit comes months after the Qatari emir’s visit to Moscow where he met with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and discussed the situation in the Middle East as well as the regional energy issues. Prior to the visit, the Qatari foreign minister held talks with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Earlier this year, Putin held several phone conversations with his Qatari counterpart, with the latest being in July, during which he stressed on the importance of normalising the of situation around Doha.