Top official: US discussing sale of F-35s to partners

The first three F-35 fighter jets ordered by Norway's Air Force arrive in Oerland Main Air Station, near Trondheim, Norway, in this November 3, 2017 photo. (Reuters)
Updated 11 November 2017
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Top official: US discussing sale of F-35s to partners

DUBAI: The US is in talks to sell F-35 fighter jets to partner nations, a senior US military official said on Friday during a visit to the UAE, without giving details.
US Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Stephen Wilson was responding to a reporter’s question about the possibility of selling advanced jets to the UAE. “Specifically with the F-35s, we look at all of our partners and nations and allies and their requirements and here in the Gulf they share many of the same adversaries and challenges,” Wilson said.
“So we look to provide capabilities. So the discussion is ongoing now with the new administration on selling F-35s to partner nations that need them, that require them.”
He added, “They’ve started the process. Now with that, you need discussion bilaterally between nations ... so further things on that will have to come from the UAE.”
The F-35 is made by Lockheed Martin Corp, with companies including Northrop Grumman Corp, United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney and BAE Systems Plc also involved.


Spanish PM visits Morocco to boost migration cooperation

Updated 19 November 2018
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Spanish PM visits Morocco to boost migration cooperation

  • Spain has this year become the main entry point for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the majority departing from Morocco

RABAT: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Monday made his first official visit to Morocco, where he pushed for greater cooperation between the two countries on tackling migration.
Spain has this year become the main entry point for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the majority departing from Morocco.
“Migration is a shared responsibility and we must reinforce our cooperation in this area,” Sanchez said following talks with his Moroccan counterpart Saad Eddine el Othmani.
More than 50,000 migrants have crossed into Spain so far this year, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Madrid has for months been pressing the European Union to unlock funds for Morocco to better tackle people smuggling into the bloc.
Throughout the year, numerous Spanish ministers and officials have traveled to Rabat to discuss security issues and migration.
Sanchez was accompanied by a government delegation for his first visit to the North African nation since taking office in June.
Othmani said Morocco was doing “all that is in its power regarding the fight against illegal immigration.”
Moroccan authorities say that between January and the end of September they stopped some 68,000 illegal attempts to cross into Europe and dismantled 122 people smuggling gangs.
“The migration question is complex and it cannot be resolved solely through a security approach, despite its importance, it’s necessary to favor the development of departure countries in Africa,” said Othmani.
Many seeking to reach Europe are from sub-Saharan Africa, but in recent years there has been an increasing number of Moroccans seeking to leave the country.
While the majority of migrants have taken the perilous sea journey in rubber dinghies, others have scaled fences into the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla which border Morocco.