Thursday 25 September 2014

US denies blocking Nigeria’s purchase of war aircraft

The United States embassy in Nigeria has faulted a story of its purported blocking of the sale of CH-47 Chinook transport aircraft by the state of Israel to Nigeria.

Responding to the story published by ThisDay, that the US had prevented Israel from selling the cargo helicopters to Nigeria, the embassy’s press attaché, Sean J. McIntosh, said his country had a good diplomatic relationship with Nigeria.

“The United States remains committed to helping the government of Nigeria address the threat posed by the terrorist organisation Boko Haram. We continue to support Nigerian efforts to bring about the safe recovery of the abductees and to advise the government of Nigeria on its response,” he said.
He further added that, “We are advising on issues of survivor support, humanitarian assistance, criminal investigations, intelligence and strategic communications.”
He, however, declined to give any assurance of a mutual complement of arms purchase policy that is not in conformity with that of his country and its interests.
“U.S. Departments of State and Defense review all potential arms transfers for their consistency with US policy and interests, as detailed in the US Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, updated by President Obama in January. This includes any requests for one country to transfer US-origin defence items to another country,” McIntosh said, emphasising that he could not comment on any specific application of the policy.
Meanwhile, Mukhtar Dan’Iyan, the editor-in-chief of the 15Past8 Media Group based in New York City, who is also an expert on Africa and Middle East policy and security gave his opinion on the matter in a tweet he posted.
Dan’Iyan wrote, “Israel does not use CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter, so selling surplus (or any stock) to Nigeria or any other nation is not even a possibility. The story about USA blocking the sale of non-existent equipment from Israel is therefore non-sequitur.

“Incidentally, Israel uses the Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion as its heavy transport helicopter, and Boeing would do anything to get that business for its Chinook,” he wrote.

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