Qatar might get F-35s despite Israel's objections

WION Web Team Doha, Qatar Oct 25, 2020, 11.22 PM(IST) Oct 25, 2020, 11.24 PM(IST)

F-35s Photograph:( Reuters )

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It was earlier reported 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. 

A US sale of advanced F-35 warplanes to Qatar could be possible despite Israel's objections to such a deal -- due to the Gulf state's links to Iran and Palestinian Hamas.

An Israeli cabinet minister on Sunday said, "This is a supposition that we must take into account," he said, arguing that the US administration "ultimately looks out for American interests," especially in the face of rival stealth jets on offer from Russia and China.

It was earlier reported 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.

Reuters also reported that should such a sale go ahead, Israel would demand "appropriate compensation" - an apparent reference to US defence assistance.

US officials have been open to selling the F-35 to the United Arab Emirates after it and Bahrain normalised relations with Israel on September 15.

Successive US administrations have since sought to preserve Israeli military superiority in the region.

There has been speculation in Israeli media that the Trump administration could hold out the F-35 as an inducement for Qatar to normalise ties with Israel.

(with inputs)

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