British defense secretary in Saudi Arabia to revive aircraft deal

12:57, September 26, 2010      

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British Defense Secretary Liam Fox arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday night for talks with senior Saudi officials with the aim of reviving a long-stalled fighter aircraft deal, local Arab News newspaper reported on Saturday.

Fox was received at Jeddah airport by Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom Muhammad bin Nawaf and Commander of the Western Region Maj. Gen. Zaal al-Balawi and other officials, the paper said.

According to the report, Fox is expected to discuss the 31.6- billion-dollar deal with the Saudi officials.

Under the original 2007 contract, Britain's BAE Systems would provide Saudi Arabia with 72 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, of which 48 were to be assembled inside the Gulf kingdom by local companies, the paper noted.

The visit came one month after a crash of Spanish Air Force Eurofighter killed a Saudi pilot while accompanying Spanish flight instructor was able to safely eject before the crash.

Source: Xinhua


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