Is America Blocking Sale of Israeli F-16’s to Croatia?

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

A new twist in the Israeli F-16 story as the original author of a text published on the Axios website argues that he has received information from Israeli officials that Trump’s administration is blocking Croatia’s purchase of Israeli F-16 military aircraft.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of December, 2018, the Axios portal has reported that America’s Trump administration is going to block the Croatian purchase of Israel’s F-16 military aircraft, Večernji list writes.

According to the text published on the Axios website, US officials allegedly claimed that Israel was being dishonest and was attempting to make money on America’s account. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu allegedly discussed this issue with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels on Monday, where he told him that he wasn’t opposed to the sale, but that it was apparently being blocked by US Defense Minister James Mattis.

To briefly explain, the US must give Israel permission to sell its aircraft to a third country, which is what Croatia is. Allegedly, the Trump administration is angry because the Israelis have upgraded their old planes with modern Israeli technology in order to persuade Croatia to buy their aircraft rather than American ones. The Americans are arguing that Israel cannot sell its aircraft without their consent, and especially not in a bid in which the US was competing.

Here at home at the Croatian Defense Ministry, which has been met with raise eyebrows for weeks in regard to the signing of this contract, confirms that Croatia, neither guilty or in the wrong, has been stuck in the midst of lobbying and conflict between the US and Israeli administrations.

The aforementioned Ministry allegedly doesn’t believe that the problem is being caused by Minister Mattis, who, in the beginning, was very much in favour of such a Croatian-Israeli agreement and was fully aware that Croatia is not in the financial position to take on the acquisition of the newest US F-16 aircraft block 70/72, which was initially offered by the Lockheed Martin manufacturer in the international tender, reports Večernji list.

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