US Ambassador: Croatia Was Aware of Approval Procedure for F-16

Total Croatia News

Updated on:

ZAGREB, January 28, 2019 – The US Ambassador in Croatia, Robert Kohorst, told the N1 commercial television channel on Monday that the Croatian government was aware of the procedure for obtaining approval for the purchase of US-made F-16 aircraft from Israel because he had given that document to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

Speaking to the press after meeting with Plenković at government headquarters, Kohorst commented on the statement made by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović that there existed a “white paper” which the US had sent to Croatia regarding the Israeli sale of F-16 fighter jets.

“I believe what the President was referring to was a paper that I gave to the Prime Minister, which outlined the process for getting approval for the F-16. It wasn’t really a white paper, it wasn’t critical about the process, it was more an information piece about how the process worked,” Kohorst said.

In an interview with N1 on Sunday, Grabar-Kitarović confirmed that the Americans had been clear from the start about the technical requirements for the transfer of the aircraft, but that no one could have predicted the problems that had arisen between the US and Israel regarding the matter.

The Croatian president denied the existence of an American non-paper warning about possible problems regarding the transfer of the Israeli F-16 Barak aircraft to Croatia and said that there only existed an American white paper containing technical instructions for all bids submitted to the Croatian Ministry of Defence that referred to the originally US-made aircraft.

“I believe we communicated to everyone there was a regular process called third-party transfer, that required US government approval for the transfer, and they were aware of how that process worked,” Kohorst said, adding that he didn’t know if everyone knew all the details, but “they certainly knew the general process.”

Asked why the process had failed eventually, the ambassador said he did not know. “The US government gave approval for the transfer, it’s just the conditions of that approval weren’t acceptable to all the parties… It was required that the planes be brought back to the original NATO configuration, which is the type of aircraft that Croatia needs in order to be a NATO partner,” Kohorst said.

More news on the unsuccessful acquisition of the military jets can be found in the Politics section.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment