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Ronald Reagan Administration: Israel Foreign Ministry Statement on U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

(March 6, 1981)

Israel's concern with the sale of American military equipment to Arab countries was expressed in this statement, which focused on the Reagan administration decision to supply enhancement equipment for the F-15s Saudi Arabia had contracted for in 1978. All this was in addition to the supply of A WACS and 22 ground radar stations, which could seriously harm Israel's security.

The Foreign Ministry Spokesman said today that the American government's decision to sell additional parts for the F-15 planes is cause for the utmost concern and intensifies the danger to Israel. This sale, as with the handing over of other war material by the industrial nations, escalates the arms race in the area to dangerous proportions liable to endanger the strategic balance in the Middle East.

As is known, these and other considerations were brought to the attention of the American administration by Foreign Minister Shamir during his last visit in Washington. The Foreign Ministry Spokesman also reiterated Israel's view that the area's problems cannot be solved by an unrestrained arms race, but rather through negotiations, with all the nations of the area joining the Camp David process and the active support of this process by all the nations outside the area.

The Spokesman also stressed the fact that Saudi Arabia is not a "moderate" nation with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict, but is counted among the leaders of the advocates of war against Israel, and provides aid to the PLO and to all those nations and elements actively fighting against Israel.

Sources: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs