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Qatar, US agree major deals

Deals include an $8 billion petrochemical project

By AFP - Jul 11,2019 - Last updated at Jul 11,2019

The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani leaves the White House following talks with US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, on Tuesday (AFP photo)

DOHA — The US and Qatar have agreed a raft of contracts worth billions of dollars during a visit to Washington by the Gulf state's emir, including an $8 billion deal on a petrochemical project.

Qatar Petroleum and US energy giant Chevron Phillips Chemical inked the deal to develop a "world class" petrochemical plant in the US Gulf Coast region, Doha's state-owned petroleum company said on Wednesday.

Qatar's Energy Minister Saad Al Kaabi and Chevron Phillips Chemical head Mark Lashier signed the agreement on Tuesday at the White House.

US President Donald Trump and Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al  Thani attended the signing ceremony held in front of US flags and the Qatari colours, according to an image published by Chevron Phillips Chemical.

The plant, scheduled to be onstream in 2024, will boast the world's largest ethylene cracker with a capacity of 2 million tonnes per year, Qatar Petroleum said.

Trump and Sheikh Tamim reiterated their "commitment to further advancing the high-level strategic cooperation between our two countries", according to a joint statement carried on Wednesday by Qatar's official QNA news agency.

"We discussed our extensive and increasing economic partnership, including these mutually beneficial transactions," they said.

Sheikh Tamim, who arrived in the US on Monday, also met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to Qatari state media.

Qatar's defence ministry has committed to acquiring advanced surface-to-air NASAM and Patriot missiles made by US arms manufacturer Raytheon, the statement said, without providing further details.

National carrier Qatar Airways will purchase five Boeing 777 freighters and large-cabin aircraft from US business jet maker Gulfstream Aerospace, it added.

The airline Tweeted an image of its chief executive Akbar Al Baker and Boeing chief executive Kevin McAllister signing the deal as Trump and Sheikh Tamim looked on.

"The US and Qatar are partners, allies, and friends. We look forward to continue that friendship, for the prosperity and happiness of our two peoples," Sheikh Tamim Tweeted.

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