Israeli leaders have come out strongly against the United States' decision to sell war planes to Egypt.
Israeli leaders have come out strongly against the United States' decision to sell war planes to Egypt. Both Prime Minster Menachem Begin and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan have deplored the move, saying the sale of fighter aircraft to Egypt would threaten Israel's security. Mr. Dayan made his statement on the issue to a news conference in Los Angeles. He was asked if the U.S. decision would serve to undermine Israel's position in the Middle East balance of power.
SYNOPSIS: President Carter has agreed to supply Israel with 90 fighter aircraft, and for this, the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin expressed his gratitude. But the Israeli leader said he was disturbed about the decision to sell Egypt 50 of these F-5E fighters.
The United States has also agreed to supply Saudi Arabia with 60 F-15 fighters. The Israelis have expressed their concern about this move too, as the Saudis have said they would make their planes available to fight against Israel. Secretary of State Vance dismissed the Israeli fear....
It was announced on Wednesday that Mr. Begin had been invited to travel to Washington for more talks with the American President. But at the same time, the Carter administration has made it clear that the decision to sell arms to Egypt is a firm one, and in spite of Israeli resistance to the decision, there will be no review of the move. In Jerusalem, Mr. Begin told the Knesset that apart from endangering the security of Israel, the American plan was likely to set back the peacemaking process in the Middle East.
He said he would discuss the whole matter during his Washington visit next month, and would also ask President Carter for additional arms to boost Israel's strength.
Preceding Mr. Dayan in Washington will be the Israeli Defence Minister Ezer Weizman, who is expected to outline his country's position regarding the whole arms balance in the Middle East.