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February 08, 1985 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-08

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

--

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Stanley H. Kaplan

NEWS

The SMART MOVE!

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Saudi Arms

Continued from Page 1

arms to the Middle East pend-
ing a study of their effect on
U.S. security and strategic
concerns.
Secretary of State George
Shultz confirmed the move, al-
though he stressed that the
Saudis will eventually receive
U.S. arms.
In a second letter, which
sought signatures for the mes-
sage to the President from
other Senators, Sens. Dixon
and D'Amato said they were
"particularly concerned" that
the Administration might an-
nounce arms sales to the
Saudis "before undertaking
full consultations with the
Congress" when King Fand of
Saudi Arabia meets with
President Reagan at the
White House Monday.
The second letter outlines a
proposed multi-billion-dollar
package which would include
40 F-15 jet fighters, in addi-
tion to the 62 the Saudis al-
ready have; 3,000 Sidewinder
shoulder-fired ground-to-air
missiles, Maverick anti-tank
missiles, multiple ejection
bomb racks, range extending
fuel tanks and possibly more
AWAC reconnaissance
planes.
The two Senators noted that
the Saudis already have
enough weapons to "over-
whelm" any threat from Iran
and stressed the sale "would
be certain to initiate a new
cycle of costly and destabiliz-
ing arms purchases through-
out the volatile Middle East,
fueling a regional arms race
which further erodes the
technological edge and both
the economic and military se-
curity of Israel."
The letter sent to Reagan by
the 62 Senators said: "We are
writing to express our deep
concern about reports of an
imminent Administration de-
cision to sell Saudi Arabia
additional military weaponry.
We have serious reservations
about the wisdom of such a
sale at this time. Therefore, we
respectfully request that prior
to making any decision or
commitment on such a sale,
you undertake thorough con-
sultations with the leadership
of the appropriate committees
of Congress."
It was Congressional oppo-
sition to any such sales last
year that caused the Adminis-
tration to withdraw plans to
sell Sidewinder missiles to
Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Last week, the State De-
partment stressed that the
Administration's decision to
defer any new Mideast arms
sales was neither an arms em-

bargo nor a change in policy.
"We are taking a com-
prehensive look at security-
related issues in the area," the
Department's deputy spokes-
man, Edwin Djerejian said.
"But we do not anticipate any
fundamental changes in our
policy or commitment in the
area."
While Djerejian said that
"we do not intend to initiate
the sale of major new sys-
tems," he stressed that on-
going programs already com-
mitted to Arab states will not
be affected.
He denied reports that the
decision to hold back on such
sales might cause King Fand
to cancel next week's visit.
In an appearance before the
Senate For,eign Relations
Committee last Tuesday,
Shultz talked of the Adminis-
tration's long-term goals in
the Middle East, including the
selling of arms to Arab coun-
tries. "I think our interests are
arguably served by the
strength of countries in the
Middle East in addition to Is-
rael."
Shultz's comments came
after Sen. Rudy Boschwitz
(R-Minn.) noted that every
four years the Administration
presents Congress with a
weapons package for Saudi
Arabia despite the strong op-
position to it in Congress. Bos-
chwitz pointed out that Sen.
Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the
Committee's chairman, said
he has scheduled the series of
hearings in an attempt to
achieve a consensus on foreign
policy. Boschwitz said that
proposing to sell arms to Saudi
Arabia would not lead to that
consensus.

4

4

4

.

Peres Critical
Of Egyptian
Peace Effort

New York (JTA) — Israeli
Prime Minister Shimon Peres
criticized Egypt and Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak this
week for failing to improve rela-
tions between the two countries.
The critical remarks, which ap-
peared in the New York Times
Tuesday, marked the first time
Peres has criticized Egypt since
becoming Prime Minister last
year.
Peres warned that if Egypt con-
tinued its policy of "cold peace"
with Israel, the peace forces in Is-
rael would become discouraged
regarding any future peace with
any Arab country.
In an interview with Times
correspondent Thomas Friedman,
Peres, asked whether he was
satisfied with the state of
Egyptian-Israeli relations, was
quoted as saying: "Frankly, I wish

I

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