MIKE STONE and PATRICIA ZENGERLE
THE United States is negotiating the sale of at least four sophisticated large aerial drones to Morocco, according to three U.S. sources familiar with the negotiations, and is expected to discuss the deal with members of Congress in the coming days.
The sources did not indicate whether the deal, which has been in the works for several months, was in any way related to the an agreement brokered with U.S. help for Morocco to normalize relations with Israel.
While the State Department has authorized the sale of the unmanned aerial vehicles, the sources said, it was not known if the U.S. officials have approved exporting the drones with weapons attached, two of the people said.
The deal must be approved by members of Congress, who may receive notification as soon as Friday, one of the people said. Congress could block a final agreement but that was not expected two of the people said.
The four MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones made by General Atomics have a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,100 km) and could survey huge swaths of sea and desert. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.