F-16V Sale Request Under Review by U.S.: MOFA
(Source: China News Agency; posted July 04, 2019)
TAIPEI --- Taiwan's request to buy a batch of F-16V fighter jets is being reviewed by the United States, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday, amid reports that the Trump Administration could approve the sale around August.

A U.S. publication Foreign Policy report released earlier Thursday quoted unidentified sources as saying that although the deal has been stalled for some time, it is expected to be moved forward due to the August congressional recess, days after Washington and Beijing agreed to restart trade talks.

Asked to comment, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the request is now being reviewed by the U.S. authorities and both sides have maintained close contact over the matter.

The defense ministry declined to comment.

Previously commenting on the request in April, Defense Minister Yen De-fa said the U.S. could make the decision on whether to approve the sale sometime in July.

Taiwan submitted a Letter of Request (LOR) to the U.S. in February to buy a fleet of fighter planes, according to Yen.

The U.S. military needs to notify Congress whether it has decided to grant the sale within 150 days of receiving the LOR, according to the defense chief. "So, we expect to learn of the U.S. decision in July," Yen said during a legislative session.

Although the military has never officially confirmed what type of jets it wants from the U.S., saying only that it has asked for a total of 66, President Tsai Ing-wen has previously made clear that the nation is seeking F-16V fighter jets.

Meanwhile, the American Institute in Taiwan reiterated Thursday that it would not comment on potential or pending arms sales or transfers before they have been formally ratified by Congress.

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