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ZAGREB (Croatia), January 11 (SeeNews) - Croatia will cancel a deal to buy from Israel US-made F-16 fighter jets as Israel has failed to obtain US permission for the deal, the Croatian government said.
Croatia's prime minister Andrej Plenkovic received the director general of Israel's defence ministry, Udi Adam, who reported that Israel failed to obtain US permission to sell F-16 Barak, the government said in a tweet late on Thursday.
The Croatian government will therefore cancel the decision on the purchase of a combat aircraft, but remains committed to the continuation of the modernization of the country's Air Force, it added.
In early December, Israeli media reported that the US is blocking the $500 million (433.8 million euro) deal for the sale of 12 F-16 jets to Croatia. Washington believes that Israel acted unfairly as the F-16s are US-made and are not supposed to be sold to a third party without the US consent, Israeli TV broadcaster Channel 10 quoted officials as saying. According to those officials, the Trump administration was angry that Israel had added advanced electronic systems to the F-16s in order to sweeten its offer, which Croatia selected at an international tender that also attracted bids from Greece, Sweden and the United States.
In March, NATO member Croatia agreed to acquire 12 F-16s from Israel to replace its ageing fleet of Russian-made MiG-21 fighter jets. Croatia would pay the price in 10 equal annual instalments, prime minister Andrej Plenkovic said back then.
(1 euro=1.1524 U.S. dollars)