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Monday, January 08, 2007

Saudi Expects To Take Delivery of Eurofighters Soon

AFP: Saudi Arabia will soon start taking delivery of Eurofighter jets from Britain, its crown prince said Jan. 6, after London dropped a controversial probe which reportedly threatened the deal.

The 72 warplanes “will be sent to the kingdom very soon at specific dates” and in close succession, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, who is also defense minister, was quoted by the official SPA news agency as saying.

He did not mention the controversy over a British probe which had reportedly prompted oil-rich Saudi Arabia to threaten to pull out of the Eurofighter contract with British defense group BAE Systems, worth 10 billion pounds ($19.8 billion).

Britain’s Attorney General Peter Goldsmith announced last month that the Serious Fraud Office — a government department — had halted an investigation into claims that BAE Systems had established a slush fund for some Saudi royal family members in connection with an arms deal dating back to the 1980s.
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