Qatar gets first batch of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from UK: Report
The UK sends its first batch of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to Qatar, in light of the present memorandums between the two countries.
The first cargo of 24 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft has arrived in Qatar from the United Kingdom, according to the Qatar News Agency (QNA).
At the Dukhan/Tamim Airbase on Saturday, Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani greeted the arrival of the fighter planes.
The Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft would be deployed as part of a squadron with F15-QA and Rafale planes to provide security during the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year, according to QNA.
A memorandum of agreement between the governments of Qatar and the UK details the support that will be given, including the creation of joint British-Qatari Typhoon and Hawk squadrons to educate pilots and technicians.
Qatar has been trying to expand its political and military ties with major Western powers. Just last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani at the Department of State headquarters in Washington. The US secretary considered Qatar a vital partner for the US and expressed Washington's gratitude for Qatar's role in the peace talks on Afghanistan and the situation in Palestine.
The US Secretary of State continued, noting that the relationship with Qatar goes beyond business, by saying that Qatar is "a vital partner for the United States in so many different areas... but beyond that, really a partner in trying to advance peace, trying to advance progress in the region, and of course, to stand against terrorism - a vital ally in the effort against ISIS."
For his part, the Qatari Foreign Minister expressed his hope that his country would play a bigger role in helping in mediating some of the conflicts that will help in maintaining stability in the region, noting that "the relationship between Qatar and the US has been, for decades, nothing but growing."
In March, US President Joe Biden made the decision to designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally of the US, a promise he had made to Qatar earlier this year in their January meeting. This designation is usually given to allies that have a strategic relationship with the US military.
Biden had told reporters during his January meeting with Qatar's Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani: "I am notifying Congress that I will designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally to reflect the importance of our relationship."
At the time, Biden also welcomed a major deal between Qatar Airways and Boeing concerning the supply of 34 777-8 wide-body cargo aircraft. The deal was said to pave the way for ordering 16 more in the future.