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August 01, 1980 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-08-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

U.S. State Department Backs Sale of Tanks to Jordan

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
The State Department
sought on Wednesday to
justify the sale of 100
sophisticated M-60 Ameri-
can tanks to Jordan by em-
phasizing that the sale "is
fully consistent with
American interests in the
region."
Harold Saunders, assis-
tant secretary of state for
Middle Eastern affairs,
pointed out that "Jordan
has a long-standing policy
of denying Jordanian terri-
tory to potential terrorists"
and "works actively for the
stability and security of the
I- tes of the Persian Gulf
states of the Arabian

Testifying before the

Europe and Middle East
subcommittee of the House
Foreign Affairs Committee,
Saunders said that Jordan
is planning to dispose of
M-48 tanks it now has when
it gets the new deliveries in
the next two years. He said
that the present Jordanian
tank force numbers 673
tanks.
Jordan also has an
order for 274 British
Chieftain tanks. The
British Chieftan, which
has a heavier gun than
the M-60, would cost Jor-
dan 25 percent more than
the M-60.
The increase in equip-
ment would boost Jordan's
army from 16 to 18 tank

Terrorist Invasion Fails,
Balloon Falls Near Border

TEL AVIV (JTA) — A cated meteorological
gang of terrorists attempt- equipment to provide
ing to infiltrate Israel by accurate data on wind di-
drifting across the border in rection and weather
a balloon was foiled when changes, Israeli sources
the balloon came down near said. According to these
Tibnin Village in South sources, Syria is actively
promoting terrorist as-
Lebanon.
According to one report, saults on Israel, but in a
either 3 or 4-terrorists were manner that would not
killed in the ;cash but other incriminate the Damas-
reports from Beirut said no cus government.
Meanwhile, it was re-
bodies were found near the
scene, indicating that the ported from Damascus
would-be infiltrators es- Monday that Syrian
President Hafez Assad met
caped.
The story, unconfirmed, with former Texas Gov.
was published in Yediot John Connally, a contender
Aronot Tuesday. While Is- for the • Republican
raeli security circles were Presidential nomination
skeptical, they made it who dropped out early in the
known that the early warn- race. They reportedly dis-
ing systems have been im- cussed Middle East de-
proved to cover possible in- velopments. Connally ar-
filtration attempts by air at rived in Damascus Sunday
low levels that would avoid on what was described as a
radar detention. Terrorists private visit to the region.
from South Lebanon have Assad met earlier in the
repeatedly tried to infiltrate , week with former Under-
Israel by land or sea routes secretary of State Joseph
and, in most cases, have Sisco who is currently on a
private tour of Middle East
been thwarted.
Had an attempt been capitals.
made by balloon, which
depends entirely on wind
drift to reach its objec-
tive, the terrorists must
have had the assistance
of Syria, the only hostile
neighbor with sophisti-

battalions.
Challenged by Rep. Ben-
jamin Gilman (R-N.Y.) on
Jordan's opposition to the
Camp David process, Saun-
ders said, "Jordan is still
unable" to join the West
Bank-Gaza autonomy talks
and the Camp David peace
process because they do not
meet with Jordan's "needs"
but that the recent meet-
ings between President
Carter and King Hussein
have "re-affirmed the fact
that Jordan supports UN
Security Council Resolution
242 and wants a com-
prehensive peace with Is-
rael."
In his prepared remarks,
Saunders said, "Jordan's
attitude will be critically
important to bringing about
a West Bank settlement
which we would find ac-
ceptable." Indicating that
the tank sale would not sig-
nificantly affect the power
balance with Israel, Saun-
ders told the committee that

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At the same time, Sal
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Arabs to Start
Hotel Chain -
in Rome?

ROME (JTA) — News-
papers here are raising the
specter that some of Rome's
traditional business estab-
lishments will be bought up
by oil-rich Arabs. The fear
arises out of the sale of
)ven of Rome's most
mous top quality restau-
rants by unidentified owr*
"ers.
Columnists have specu-
,Aed that Arabs, probably
Libyan exiles, plan to start
a chain of restaurants,
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zation of Rome," one com-
mentator said.

"an effort to punish Jordan
by withholding our consent
to this sale will not prevent
the acquisition of tanks (by
Jordan) but it will do seri-
ous damage to a key bilat-
eral relationship."
When Saunders re-
marked that Jordan has
"tactical differences with
us," on the Camp David
process, Gilman asked
whether it was "un-
willingness" on Jordan's
part. Saunders replied
that "Jordan feels it has
been going a long way
towards what they re-
quire for peace."
The tanks, equipped with
night vision devices, are
part of a 200-tank package
President Carter promised
King Hussein of Jordan,
during his Washington visit
in June.
Congress has 30 days to
block the tank sale but
sources on Capitol Hill pre-
dicted that it will be ap-
proved.

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WEDNESDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 15, 1980

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