A spokesman for the Defense Department said Defense Secretary James Mattis and Khalid al-Attiyah, Qatar’s defense affairs minister, signed a letter to facilitate the aircraft sale.
“It is an FMS, a foreign military sale, so we continue to work with the U.S. Air Force,” Leanne Caret, CEO of Boeing’s defense, space and security business unit, said of the agreement.
“We stay in tune to the congressional delegations, obviously,” she added.
Bloomberg also reported that the F-15 deal would cover the sale of up to 36 jets to Qatar.
Qatar’s defense ministry said in a statement the agreement would lead to the creation of approximately 60,000 jobs in at least 40 U.S. states and result in “closer strategic collaboration in our fight to counter violent extremism and promote peace and stability in our region and beyond.”
The finalization of the deal came months after the State Department approved in November 2016 a potential $21.1 billion sale of 72 F-15s and related services to Qatar in support of the Arab country’s efforts to advance political stability and economic growth in the Persian Gulf region.
The F-15 agreement pushed through amid President Donald Trump’s social media posts, which appeared to side with the decision of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on grounds that the latter has been supporting extremist groups.