The Arab League permanent representatives met in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the recent sale of Phantom fighter jets to Israel, and the reported Israel occupation of two islands in the Red Sea.
GV EXT Arab League building
SV PAN Delegates from lebanon and Gulf Emirates arrive
SCU INT Mahmoud Riad (left) and Ahmed al Araqi of Morocco seated
SV Jordanese representative seated
SV Syria (left and Lebanese delegates (nearest)
CU ZOOM OUT Riad speaking in Arabic
SCU Kuwaiti delegate seated
SV Yemen's new Chairman shakes hands with Riad and El Araqi before taking his seat
Initials BB/1919 GD/DW/BB/1910
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Background: The Arab League permanent representatives met in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the recent sale of Phantom fighter jets to Israel, and the reported Israel occupation of two islands in the Red Sea. The prominent issue of the talks was the U.S. arms sale. In memoranda to member states, the Arab League said the Phantom deal is an explicit declaration of U.S. alignment with Israel. A report by the League's Secretary General, Mahmoud Riad, said the U.S. attitude had become clear-cut, despite claims of peace probes in the Middle East.
Secretary General Riad's report also deals with the Red Sea islands. It contains an assessment of the strategic value of the islands, two of which israel is reported to have occupied. The study spoke of Israeli commercial interests in the Red Sea which is an outlet to the markets of Africa and Asia.
SYNOPSIS: Permanent representatives of the Arab League met in Cairo on Saturday to discuss recent weapons sales and the report occupation of two Red Sea islands by Israel. The subject given most prominence at the talks was the United States' sale of Phantom jet fighters to Israel.
Secretary General of the League, Mahmoud Riad, on the right, presented a report to the meeting, dealing with the arms sale. His report said the weapons deal was an American declaration of its permanent and absolute bias in favour of Israel.
The delegates were told the U.S. attitude was now clear-cut despite claims of peace probes.
Mr. Riad's report also dealt with the situation in the Red Sea. The study made an assessment of the strategic and economic importance of the Red Sea islands. Israel is reported to have occupied two islands in the Sea which is an outlet to the markets of Asia and Africa. The report says Israel has attempted to establish a naval base there.
The permanent representatives considered several proposals submitted by Mr. Raid. These include his view that the Arab summit conference should determine the attitude of individual states to the confrontation with Israel.
Saturday's meeting was presided over by a new chairman, Yemen's permanent representative to the league. The dispute between the North and South Yemen was also among topics discussed.