US Embassy: Conditions on F-16 Fighter Jets Were Clear Entire Time

By 11 January 2019

ZAGREB, January 11, 2019 - The United States Embassy in Zagreb said on Friday that during the entire process aimed at providing Croatia with F-16 fighter jets from Israel the United States was clear regarding the conditions necessary for Third Party Transfer (TPT).

The Croatia-Israeli deal has definitely fallen through after Israel officially informed Croatia that it could not obtain an approval of the United States for the delivery of the fighter jets.

After talks with our Israeli colleagues, "I can tell you that the State of Israel has officially informed the Defence Ministry that ... it cannot obtain the necessary approval from the United States for the delivery of the Israeli F-16 fighter jets to Croatia," Krstičević told the news conference on Thursday evening.

"The United States wholeheartedly supported Croatia’s acquisition of a NATO-compatible fourth generation aircraft from Israel, and worked to make this transfer a reality," according to a press release which the US Embassy in Croatia issued after given an exemption from Washington.

Due to the lapse in appropriations on December 21, the U.S. Embassy has been unable to publicly engage with any media. However, Washington has given the US Embassy in Croatia an exemption in order to issue the on-the-record response regarding the sale of Israeli F-16s to Croatia.

"As is common in these types of transfers, there are specific technical conditions that need to be in place to enable U.S. approval of the transfer. We were clear about those conditions throughout, and our December 27, 2018 approval of the transfer was consistent with that message." the US Embassy said.

"We remain committed to assisting the Republic of Croatia in its procurement of NATO-compatible combat aircraft," the embassy said.

Croatia was supposed to buy 12 Israeli F-16 C/D Barak fighter jets for an estimated 2.9 billion kuna payable over a ten year period. The US objected the sale of modified F-16 fighter jets to Croatia.

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