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The British government's decision not to allow negotiations to go ahead on a possible sale to Iraq of more than 50 British-made Hawk jet training aircraft will disappoint the Iraqis and frustrate British business hopes of an entry into Iraq's significant defence market. Negotiations between British Aerospace (BAe), the makers of the Hawk aircraft, and Iraqi officials had been in progress for some time (issue No.362 of Gulf States Newsletter, 15 May.) As well as talking about an initial order for 50 aircraft, Iraq also wanted a joint venture with BAe for local production of the Hawk and an oil buy-back arrangement administered by oil major Royal Dutch Shell.
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