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Defense News: Bahrain Jet Sales Likely Advance Under Trump, No Strings Attached

2017-02-02 - 3:13 am

Bahrain Mirror: American Defense News website reported that chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Monday he expects the Trump White House to approve F-16 fighter jet sales to Bahrain that were blocked by the Obama administration over human rights concerns.

"I'm hoping the Bahrain deal is going to roll out without the restrictions," Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said. "I think it could happen soon." 

Corker, at one time considered for Trump's secretary of state, said he did not have an indication of the new administration's approach to foreign military sales other than a sense the Bahrain sale would proceed without caveats.

Its unclear whether the Bahrain sale would, if it came to Congress for approval, see opposition. In June, a bipartisan group of senators led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., called on the Obama administration to press Bahrain to protect the rights of its citizens.

Murphy said Monday he had no immediate reaction, but noted: "I've raised a lot of concerns about [protecting] political dissent in Bahrain."

Lockheed Martin has said the sale, reportedly for 19 F-16s worth $2.8 billion, is vital to the survival of its production line.

The Obama administration reportedly told Congress it would not give final approval on the Bahrain deal until progress was made on human rights.

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