A French missile once owned by Qatar's military and found among a huge arsenal of weapons seized in Italy was sold by Qatar 25 years ago to a third country, foreign ministry spokesperson HE Lolwah Alkhater on Wednesday said in a statement.
Italian police said on Monday that a French-made Matra air-to-air missile belonging to Qatar's armed forces was discovered during raids on neo-Nazi sympathisers.
Qatar said the missile was part of a larger weapons sale made to a third friendly country 25 years earlier.
"We have been following the news about the seized arsenal of weapons in the friendly Italian Republic very closely and with concern. The weapons were found with what has been described in the media as an “extreme right party”.
"The reports have also mentioned that a French Matra air- to-air missile that was owned at one point by the Qatari Armed Forces was amongst the captured weapons.
"The authorities in Qatar have immediately started an investigation alongside the respective Italian authorities and the authorities of another friendly nation to which the Matra missile was sold 25 years ago."
She said according to the early stages of the investigation and tracked serial numbers, the captured Matra Super530 missile was sold by Qatar in 1994 in a deal that included 40 Matra Super 530 missiles to a friendly nation that wishes not to be named at this point of the investigation.
"Qatar is working very closely now with the pertinent parties including Italy to unveil the facts and it is very concerned as to how a missile sold 25 years ago ended up in the hands of a third non-state party," the statement added.