Qatar announces contracts worth $23 billion at Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX); NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen: Ukraine crisis underscored the need to protect the right of nations to map out their own future
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • MARCH 17-30

    According to reports, Qatar has announced contracts worth $23 billion on the last day of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX), to buy attack helicopters, guided missiles and other weapons from 20 companies, including Boeing, Airbus and other arms makers. Qatar has been embarking on an ambitious military expansion program for a number of years under its National Security Shield Project. Importantly, Qatar’s huge oil and natural gas reserves and its reliance on sea trade make maritime defense of paramount importance to the country.1

    In another development, according to reports, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on March 30 said that the Ukraine crisis underscored the need to protect the right of nations to map out their own future. In an op-ed entitled “The right to choose,” the outgoing secretary general called Russia’s actions in Crimea a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, which undermined the rule of international law. “And they flout the principle that every state is sovereign, and free to choose its own fate,” Rasmussen said in an article for Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper which was also published in other NATO member states. Freedom of choice helped Europe overcome its Cold War divisions, he said, but added that “the crisis in Ukraine is a reminder to us all that we must defend that principle. “That is what NATO is doing.” Rasmussen, who will step down as head of the 28-nation transatlantic alliance later this year, said NATO’s door was open to new members who are ready to make the necessary reforms. “Accession to NATO is a free choice, but it is not a free ride,” he said.2