Washington: The US and Iraqi defence officials have held discussions in the past three days over sale of 18 F-16 fighter jets, according to US Defence Department.
The Iraqi government during the meetings that took place at the Pentagon "reconfirmed its interest in purchasing a second set of 18 F-16s in addition to an initial purchase of 18 F-16 aircraft in September 2011. Also, the US reconfirmed its commitment to the sale," Xinhua reported.
According to a Pentagon statement, the F-16s and other military equipment will "help protect Iraq’s sovereignty, meet legitimate defence needs and symbolise the long-term security partnership envisioned by both countries”.
The meetings held from Tuesday to Thursday were the first of the Defence and Security Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) under the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA). These followed a meeting between Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta and acting Iraqi Minister of Defence Saadoun Al-Dlimi.