BUSINESS | Qatar Might Get F-35s Despite Israel’s Objections, Israeli Minister Says

MILAN | ITALY – An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that a U.S. sale of advanced F-35 warplanes to Qatar could be possible despite Israel’s objection to such a deal given the Gulf state’s link to Iran and Palestinian Hamas.

‘I have no doubt that if they (Qatar) want it and are willing to pay, sooner or later they will get it’, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who sits in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told Ynet TV.

‘This is a supposition that we must take into account’, he said, arguing that the U.S. Administration ‘ultimately looks out for American interests’, especially in the face of rival jets on after from Russia and China.

Reuters reported on Oct.7 that gas-rich Qatar had submitted a formal request to buy the F-35, a Lockheed Martin plane that has so far been supplied only to Israel in the region. Israel, with which Washington consults on such sales, said it would be opposed.

Emphasizing that this position would not change, a spokesman for Steinitz said in a follow-up statement to Reuters that should such a sale go ahead, Israel would demand ‘appropriate compensation’ – an apparent reference to U.S. defense assistance.

U.S. officials have been open to selling the F-35 to the United Arab Emirates after it and Bahrain normalized relations with Israel on Sept.15. but they have been tight-lipped on Qatar’s bid to buy the jet.

Successive U.S. administrations have sought to preserve Israel military superiority in the region. Steinitz noted, however, that there had been past U.S. sales of advanced aircraft to Arab countries over Israeli objections.

Israel initially voiced misgivings about the UAE getting F-35s. the Netanyahu government dropped these on Friday after Defense Minister Benny Gantz retruned from Washington with new U.S. security guarantees for Israel.

There has been speculation in Israeli media that the Trump administration could hold out the F-35 as an inducement for Qatar to normalize ties with Israel. Qatar has ruled out such a diplomatic move without a resolution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.

Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From Iraqi PM

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed his current health situation in a phone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al – Kadhimi, state news agency SPA reported. The Crown Prince further thanked Al – Kadhimi for his concerns. The Crown Prince underwent a successful surgical procedure on Wednesday morning to treat appendicitis at … More Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From Iraqi PM

US President Biden Calls Saudi Arabia’s King Salman: White House

US President Biden Thursday called Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, according to the White House. The call was ‘to address the longstanding partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia’, a White House statement said. Regional security, including Washington’s diplomatic efforts to end the war in Yemen, was discussed. ‘The US commitment to help Saudi Arabia … More US President Biden Calls Saudi Arabia’s King Salman: White House

Digital Vaccination Passports Likely Available Before Summer, Merkel Says

Digital vaccination certification enabling people to travel in Europe despite the coronavirus pandemic will probably be available before the summer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after a virtual EU Summit. ‘Everyone agreed that we need a digital vaccination certificate’, Merkel told a press conference on Thursday, adding the EU Commission would need around three months … More Digital Vaccination Passports Likely Available Before Summer, Merkel Says

Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Salman Discusses Defense Relations With U.K.

Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held a phone call with British Secretary Ben Wallace to discuss defense relations between both countries. ‘Had a good call with the United Kingdom Defense Secretary Ben Wasllace to discuss defense relations between out two friendly countries, and our common interests in achieving regional and international stability’, … More Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Salman Discusses Defense Relations With U.K.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Undergoes Successful Surgery

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman underwent surgery Wednesday to treat appendicitis, the Saudi Press Agency Reported. According to the SPA, the laparoscopic surgery, which was performed at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyad, was successful. The crown prince has since been discharged from the hospital.

Saudi Arabia Crown’s Prince Launces Soudah Develop Company With Investment Of SR 11 Billion

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced the launch of Soudah Development Company (SDC) in the Asir region that will lead the development of a luxury mountain destination and will infuse $3 billion (SAR 11 billion) into infrastructure and tourism projects, according to a statement. The statement added that the  new entry is … More Saudi Arabia Crown’s Prince Launces Soudah Develop Company With Investment Of SR 11 Billion

UK’S Prince Philip To Stay In Hospital, Son Edward Says He Is A Lot Better

Britain’s Prince Philip will remain in hospital for several days where he is comfortable and responding to treatment, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday, while he is getting ‘a lot better‘ his son Prince Edwards told Sky News. ‘The Duke of Edinburgh remains at King Edward VII’s Hospital where he is receiving medical attention for an … More UK’S Prince Philip To Stay In Hospital, Son Edward Says He Is A Lot Better

Saudi Imports From Turkey Tumble In December After Informal Boycott

The value of Saudi Arabia’s imports from Turkey in December dropped to their lowest level in at least a year, Saudi official data showed on Wednesday, on the back of an informal boycott by Saudi businessmen and retailers of Turkish products. Political tensions spilled over into trade between the two regional powers last year after … More Saudi Imports From Turkey Tumble In December After Informal Boycott

Kuwait Closes Sea, Land Borders With Certain Exceptions For Citizens, Workers

Kuwait announces it will be closing its land and sea border crossings with certain exceptions made for shipping workers and returning citizens and their immediate family members and companions, according to a decision by the country’s Council of Ministers. Exceptions were made for shipping operations and workers in the divided zone, according to the announcement. … More Kuwait Closes Sea, Land Borders With Certain Exceptions For Citizens, Workers


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