Exclusive: Qatar Makes Formal Request for F-35 Jets – Sources (excerpt)
(Source: Reuters; published October 7, 2020)
By Mike Stone
WASHINGTON --- Qatar has submitted a formal request to the United States to buy stealthy F-35 fighter jets, three people familiar with the deal said, in a deal that if pursued could strain U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The request for the Lockheed Martin Co jets was submitted by the Persian Gulf state in recent weeks, the people said.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said, “As a matter of policy, the United States does not confirm or comment on proposed defense sales or transfers until they are formally notified to Congress.”

The Qatari embassy in Washington, D.C. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Keen to counter Iran in the region, the U.S. helps to arm allies including Qatar, host to the largest U.S. military facility in the Middle East, and home to 8,000 U.S. service members and Department of Defense civilian employees.

The request follows an August deal between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates in which Washington agreed to consider giving the Gulf state approval to buy F-35s in a side deal to a U.S.-brokered agreement called the Abraham Accord to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.

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