In this Tuesday, June 27, 2017 photo, pedestrians navigate 34th street as the Empire State Building in New York City is lit up in burgundy and white for Qatar Airways in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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President Donald Trump may accuse Qatar of sponsoring terrorism, but that did not stop the wealthy emirate this week from lighting up the Empire State Building in the national colors of the Middle Eastern nation. Trump – who himself once tried to acquire the Manhattan skyscraper – has sided with Saudi Arabia in its increasingly bitter dispute with Qatar, but Doha has adopted a tactic long used by its more powerful Saudi neighbor to get its own way, buying up substantial shares in the U.S. economy as a bulwark against shifting political sands.The iconic 102-story Empire State Building was bathed in the burgundy and white of Qatar Airways, the state flag carrier of Qatar, ostensibly to celebrate 10 years of flights into the United States. At the same time, it signed a $12 billion contract to buy 36 F-15 fighter jets from Boeing: a fraction of the $110 billion arms deal inked when Trump visited Riyadh in May, but still enough to make U.S. business leaders sit up and listen.
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