Manama: Bahrain on Wednesday disavowed comments attributed to King Hamad in a US cable published by the WikiLeaks whistleblower website in which he appeared to disparage a French warplane.
The published remarks were “inaccurate and taken out of context,” the official Bahrain News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
WikiLeaks released a confidential US diplomatic telegram which cited the king as agreeing with US Iraq commander General David Petraeus on November 1, 2009 that France’s flagship Rafale fighter was “yesterday’s technology.”
France has been in talks with Bahrain’s Gulf neighbour, the United Arab Emirates, since 2008 in a bid to sell 60 of the aircraft which are a centrepiece of its military aerospace industry.
So far it has failed to sell a single one of the warplanes, although it remains in competition with Swedish and US manufacturers to supply the Brazilian air force.