Exclusive-Trump administration moves forward with $1 billion Moroccan arms deal

By Patricia Zengerle and Mike Stone WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Donald Trump's administration moved forward with $1 billion in sales of drones and precision-guided weapons to Morocco on Friday, sending a notice to Congress about the potential deals, according to sources familiar with the notification.

Reuters December 12, 2020 05:10:09 IST
Exclusive-Trump administration moves forward with $1 billion Moroccan arms deal

ExclusiveTrump administration moves forward with 1 billion Moroccan arms deal

By Patricia Zengerle and Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Donald Trump's administration moved forward with $1 billion in sales of drones and precision-guided weapons to Morocco on Friday, sending a notice to Congress about the potential deals, according to sources familiar with the notification.

The deal includes four MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones made by privately-held General Atomics, and Hellfire, Paveway and JDAM precision-guided munitions made by Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing, the sources said.

Reuters was first to report on Thursday that Washington was negotiating the sale and would notify Congress shortly.

News of the deal came as the White House announced an agreement brokered with U.S. help for Morocco to normalize relations with Israel.

Earlier this year the U.S. offered stealthy F-35 jet fighters to the United Arab Emirates in a side deal to the U.S.-brokered agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations.

Congress is notified about major international weapons deals and given the opportunity to review them before they go through. Under U.S. weapons export law, members of Congress can attempt to block such sales by offering resolutions of disapproval, but sources said that was not expected in this case.

A deal with Morocco would be among the first drone sales after the Trump administration moved ahead with a plan to sell more drones to more countries by reinterpreting an international arms control agreement called the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

This fall drone sales moved ahead to Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. An effort to block the UAE sale failed in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Mike Stone; Editing by Chris Sanders and Daniel Wallis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.