Guarantees Not Sought in Procurement of F-16 Jets

By 2 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 2, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday that no guarantees had been sought during the planned purchase of Israeli F-16 jets that eventually fell through as that type of procurement did not require guarantees, announcing that in the next attempt to buy military aircraft emphasis would be put on the inter-departmental nature of the process.

"This was a government-to-government process in which guarantees are not sought," Plenković said in an interview with Nova TV. He confirmed that the government would launch a new process to buy new military aircraft and that in that process, its interdepartmental nature would be stressed.

The prime minister said that a detailed analysis into why the purchase of Israeli fighter jets had failed was still under way but that he believed "we have arrived at the right conclusion as to why it happened" and that the conclusion would be presented during a parliamentary debate on the matter to be held soon.

Plenković stressed that Israel had undertaken in writing to secure permission for the Third Party Transfer (TPT) whereby the USA allows the sale of weapons originally made in the USA.

"Also, talks at the State Department and the Department of Defence gave us reason to conclude that the transfer would be approved," he stressed.

Plenković concluded by saying that Croatia had excellent relations with both Israel and the USA and would continue having such relations in the future as well.

More news on the procurement of F-16 jets can be found in the Politics section.