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157266_1899101_updates.jpgThe seal of the United States Department of State is seen in Washington, US, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has approved a package of potential arms sales worth more than $3.8 billion to Bahrain including F-16 jets, upgrades, missiles, and patrol boats, a US Official said on Friday.

The State Department?s approval of the potential deal coincides with a notification to Congress, which held up a similar arms deal last year over human rights concerns.

This proposed sales includes 19 F-16V jets ? made by Lockheed Martin Corp ? that could have a value of up to $2.7 billion, according to the official.

In addition, the State Department approved the sale of two 114-feet (35-meter) patrol boats with machine guns, 221 anti-tank missiles, and $1.8 billion worth of upgrades to Bahrain?s existing fleet of F-16 jets.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

In May, US President Donald Trump said Washington?s relations with Bahrain were set to improve, after meeting with the king of the Gulf Arab state during a visit to Saudi Arabia. 


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