Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Arens has been discussing the possible resumption of Franco-Israeli military co-operation at a meeting with French Defence Minister Charles Hernu.
GVs INTERIOR Prince of Wales Hotel, Paris, including people seated and watching the guests
SV ZOOM TO SCU Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Arens talking to gathering (SOT)
CU Arens answering press questions (SOT)
TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE TWO):
ARENS: "Well, clearly an attempt is being made at the present time by the Syrians and by the PLO and maybe to some extent, I don't know, certainly in conjunction between these two groups, to torpedo the Israeli-Lebanese agreement and their efforts are directed against the Lebanese government as well as against the Israeli army in Lebanon at the present time. I don't expect these efforts to be successful and I hope that the Lebanese government will continue in its adherence to the agreement that it has signed. I don't want at the present time to tell you exactly what it is we are going to do, I have already mentioned that should it turn out that the Syrian Army will not withdraw and that withdraw and that the agreement cannot be implemented in the full sense that it has been concluded, then there will be consultation between Israel, Lebanon and the USA."
TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE THREE):
REPORTER: (question indistinct).
ARENS: "I'm not sure what press reports you have seen there is a very considerable Soviet presence in Syria at the present time and some of that presence exists with Syrian troops in Lebanon as well. This is in the form of Soviet military advisers, that are spread very extensively amongst the Syrian armed forces, ground forces, air forces and the navy. In addition, as is well known, there are two large Soviet surface to air missile sites in Syria whose major components are Sam-5 missiles, although they are not the only Soviet weapons located in Syria at the present time, and these sites are under the direction, the sole direction of Soviet military personnel."
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Background: Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Arens has been discussing the possible resumption of Franco-Israeli military co-operation at a meeting with French Defence Minister Charles Hernu. Mr Arens is the first Israeli defence minister to visit France since 1967 Middle East War when the French stopped supplies of weapons. Mr Arens would make no further comment on the discussions, except that any further weapons sales would be not a new deal but merely a resumption. Speaking to reporters Mr Arens said that he hoped agreement could be reached over Lebanon and the withdrawal of Israeli forces. He went on to emphasise the size of the Soviet presence in the area both with the Syrian Army and the siting of missile bases. Mr Arens visited the Israeli stand at the Paris Air Show to see Israeli missiles on sale. He is also due to meet the French Minister Claude Cheysson.