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    American Defence Secretary Harold Brown said on Friday (16 February) that the U.S. intend playing?

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    American Defence Secretary Harold Brown said on Friday (16 February) that the U.S. intend playing a more active role in the Middle East and added that he had reached a great measure of agreement in his talks with Israeli officials. His remarks came as he left for Cairo after two days of talks in Tel Aviv.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Brown was accompanied on most of his trip across Israel and the West Bank by Israeli Defence Minister Ezer Weizman and U.S. officials disclosed on Thursday (15 February) that the two defence ministers had reached agreement on one subject, at least. America will sell Israel one of its most advanced air-to-air missiles, the AIM-9 Sidewinder. Washington is reportedly considering selling Israel some of the F-16 fighter-bombers originally ordered by Iran, but which that troubled country can no loner buy.

    Mr. Brown has also made it clear that the United States will keep Israel's military security in mind in making any weapons sales to Israel's Arab neighbours.

    After flying over the Sinai desert and viewing the occupied positions and the line to which Israel is willing to withdraw in a peace settlement, the diplomats landed at a tank base on the border of Sinai and Negev. Mr. Brown commented to reporters that he was impressed with Israel's present military resources and the trip had given him a better appreciation of the country's military needs. But he did not go into the details of his talks with the Israeli government.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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