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Qatar submits request to to buy US F-35 fighter jets: report

Qatar submits request to to buy US F-35 fighter jets: report
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Qatar's government is reportedly asking the Pentagon for permission to purchase a number of F-35 fighter jets.

Multiple sources familiar with the proposed deal told Reuters that the Qatari government had officially submitted a request to purchase several F-35 fighters, though it wasn't clear how recently the proposal had been made or how many jets the country was seeking to buy.

One of Reuters's sources told the news outlet that the proposal did not include a provision indicating that Qatar would join the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords, a landmark agreement signed by Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this year normalizing relations between the two countries.

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Qatar is a historical rival of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and any deal with the U.S. would likely risk angering officials from those nations. The deal would also have to comply with a decades-old agreement with Israel that the U.S. would not make any weapons sales that threatened Israel's military dominance in the Middle East.

A spokesperson for the State Department refused to confirm the details of the proposal when contacted by Reuters.

“As a matter of policy, the United States does not confirm or comment on proposed defense sales or transfers until they are formally notified to Congress," the department said. The Qatari Embassy in Washington did not immediately return Reuters' requests for comment, and the embassy's website returned a server error when accessed Wednesday afternoon.

The Trump administration agreed as part of the Abraham Accords to consider the sale of F-35s to the UAE earlier this year, a move that is opposed by Israel. Poland's defense minister became the most recent foreign official to ink a deal with the U.S. for the jets, agreeing to buy 32 of them in January.