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Qatar to seek $4bn loan for Typhoon fighter jets

RRoyal Saudi airforce fighter aircraft-jet [file photo]
Royal Saudi airforce fighter jet [File photo]

Qatar is seeking to raise more than $4 billion from banks to purchase Eurofighter combat jets, Bloomberg reported today.

The state of Qatar is in talks with undisclosed financial advisers and credit export agencies from Italy, France and the UK to raise billions of dollars for defence deals which “will advance Qatar’s strategic efforts towards stability”, an official said.

The weapons spending comes amid a year-long air, land and sea blockade levied by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain over allegations that Doha supports terrorism and extremism. Although Qatar categorically denied the allegations as baseless, Doha has shown resilience in ramping up security.

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Saudi Arabia threatened Qatar last month with military action in opposition to plans to purchase S-400 air defence systems from Russia. The matter went as far as King Salman writing an official letter to ally French President Emmanuel Macron warning of “profound concern”.

Early this week it was revealed that Qatar will be joining the US’ longest running conflict, by supporting the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan. Whether the purchase of new Typhoon jets will be used in Afghanistan is yet to be seen.

The blockading quartet seek to ruin Qatar’s economic outlook, which the international community deems as a failed attempt. But Doha continues to spend on crucial infrastructural and military development. Back in December 2017, Qatar spent some $6.6 billion on 24 Typhoon jets, the first payment of which will be made soon.

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