WASHINGTON (Aug. 31)
The United States has not yet decided on Saudi Arabia’s request for F-15 supersonic fighters but it has indicated that the decision in favor of providing the aircraft is merely a matter of time.
Responding to questions today, State Department spokesman Hodding Carter said that the U.S. has maintained a “commitment” and “relationship” to help Saudi Arabia with “legitimate self-defense needs.” But the U.S. has “not made a decision when the proposal” for the aircraft “will be submitted” to Congress for approval.
Saudi Arabia reportedly would get 60 of the planes. Carter said that some members of Congress have been sounded out on the sale but no formal consultation has taken place. Asked about the balance of power in the Middle East if the deal goes through, he said the was not prepared to enter into the internal discussions at the Pentagon, State Department and other U.S. agencies which are now considering the sale.