New Fighter Jets Purchase Only After Failed Deal with Israel Is Analysed

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, January 29, 2019 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday that the government “has an idea” why the purchase of the Israeli F-16 Barak fighter jets fell through, adding that no new steps would be taken regarding the acquisition of new planes until the entire case is thoroughly analysed.

Plenković said that at a meeting with US Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst, held earlier in the day, he did not ask why the sale of the jets fell through because there was no need for that.

“I did not need to ask him. As you know, we are thoroughly analysing the entire process and after our talks with the Israeli side and consultations with the Americans we have a pretty good idea why this has happened,” the prime minister said, adding that the analysis, that was still being conducted, would clarify what happened. He said the analysis would be completed in the coming weeks and until then no new steps aimed at acquiring fighter jets would be launched.

Earlier on Monday, Plenković held talks with Ambassador Kohorst who then told the press that he gave a document to the Croatian prime minister which outlined the process for obtaining approval for the F-16.

Shortly after Kohorst said that the statement he had given to the N1 commercial broadcaster about the failed deal between Israel and Croatia about fighter jets’ purchase had been misinterpreted, and insisted that the Croatian government should not be blamed for the failure.

Kohorst thus reacted to some media interpretations of his statement that the Croatian government was aware of the procedure for obtaining approval for the purchase of US-made F-16 aircraft from Israel. “Counter to what some press have reported, the United States did not at any time advise the Croatian government not to purchase the Israeli F-16s,” Kohorst said in his statement.

Plenković later said he had not seen the document and that this “was the exchange of technical papers at the level of the US Embassy and a representative of the Croatian authorities.”

He underscored that the jets were only one of the topics discussed at the meeting, underscoring that Israel’s offer with regard the quality and the price of the planes was very good. He reiterated that Israel had assumed responsibility for obtaining approval from the Americans.

More news on the defence issues can be found in the Politics section.


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