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ISRAEL - Aug. 17 - US Eases Restrictions On Arms Exports.

According to radio reports, the US has reduced its demands for veto rights on Israeli arms sales now that Israel has cancelled the sale of a warning system to China and shown flexibility with the Palestinians. (In July, Israel cancelled the sale of the PHALCON airborne early warning system to China after the US Congress threatened to deduct the value of the sale from US aid to Israel. Tensions over that sale led the US to demand Israel receive prior US agreement on sales to 27 countries.) Army radio reports the list has now been reduced to 4. These are China, India, Pakistan and Russia. A US official confirms the report and says that even in the case of those 4, arms deals will rarely be vetoed. Danny Yatom, PM Barak's political and security adviser, confirms Israel and the US States held a series of discussions on the arms issue in recent weeks and have made progress. He says: "I can confirm that the positions between us and the Americans are not as far apart as they used to be". The veto would seriously impede Israel's efforts to expand its arms sales. Washington has vetoed sales of the Israeli Kfir fighter plane, which has an American engine, to a number of countries. The PHALCON is wholly Israeli, but Israel agreed to cancel the sale because it is dependent on Washington for major weapons systems and receives US$1.9 bn each year in American military aid. The cancellation was a major blow to Israel's hopes of penetrating the Chinese arms market.) The US official adds Israel's willingness to consider American proposals at the Camp David summit with the Palestinians also contributed to the easing of the arms export restrictions.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Aug 19, 2000
Words:289
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