Pakistan to sell combat jets to Saudi Arabia

Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:05 AM

NEW DELHI, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Pakistan is to sell JF-17 Thunder combat jets and trainer aircraft to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud is set to visit Pakistan beginning Saturday, with talks expected to focus on deepening security and defense cooperation between the two countries. The crown prince's delegation will include Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed bin Sulaiman al-Jasser, Commerce Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan al Rabiah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar Bin Obaid Madani and important businessmen.

Foreign Office spokesman Tasnim Aslam said during a news briefing that Pakistan was considering Saudi Arabia as a potential armaments market, telling journalists, "Certainly, defense cooperation would figure in the talks. The army chief would be calling on him separately," Saharasamay.com website reported on Thursday.

Besides the JF-17 Thunder jet co-developed with China, other armaments that Pakistan is interested in selling to Saudi Arabia include the Mushak trainer aircraft. Analysts say Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are seeking deeper strategic ties as the United States begins to withdraw from Afghanistan.

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