Monday, April 12, 2010

Kuwaiti MPs warn of grilling over French Rafale jets

KUWAIT CITY — An Islamist bloc in Kuwait's parliament opposed to a planned purchase of French-made Rafale warplanes on Sunday warned it will grill senior officials if the deal is signed.
"Signing the purchase agreement means we will grill whoever is responsible for authorising the deal," spokesman for the Reform and Development Bloc Faisal al-Muslim told a press conference. He would not say, however, whether the prime minister or defence minister are among the officials the bloc plans to call to account if the multi-billion-dollar deal to purchase between 14 and 28 Rafale jets goes ahead.Last month, Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah said the Rafale deal remained a priority for Kuwait. In November, the emirate's parliament voted unanimously to ask the independent Audit Bureau to probe three planned arms deals with the United States and France that one lawmaker said were worth billions of dollars. The deals include the planned purchase of an unspecified number of US-made Hercules transport aircraft and an ammunition factory, as well as the Rafale


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