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Qatar frustrated by slow US response to MQ-9B request

The US State Department is delaying a request that Qatar submitted over a year ago to buy four MQ-9B Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Qatari officials have told the Wall Street Journal .

β€œThe frustration from our perspective is that there is no clear indication as to why there is a delay on our request,” the newspaper quoted one official as saying on 24 October.

The United States refused to export armed UAVs to states that were not formal allies until it reinterpreted the Missile Technology Control Regime last year.

The State Department then announced in November 2020 that it had approved the sale of MQ-9Bs to both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Taiwan. The proposed sale of 18 UAVs with associated weapons and equipment to the UAE was estimated to be worth USD2.97 billion, compared to USD600 million for the four Taiwanese ones.

The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defence announced in July that it had signed a contract for the UAVs, but a UAE contract has not been announced yet.

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