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Israel refuses to stop selling arms to America's enemies

Israeli, U.S. talks on weapons deals with China end without result

WASHINGTON - Israeli and U.S. delegations wound up two days of talks
without concluding an agreement on future Israeli weapons deals with other nations.

Another round is likely next month in Washington.

"These are complicated issues, but the talks were constructive," David Siegel, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy, said Tuesday.

At the Pentagon, spokesman Brian Whitman said there was "an active discussion" going on.

The aim is guidelines for Israeli weapons sales that would ease the strain some past deals have had on an otherwise friendly relationship.

The talks held at the Pentagon focused, in part, on Israel's planned sale to China of spare parts for Harpy armed drone aircraft. The Bush administration objects on grounds it would upgrade China's anti-radar aircraft.

"The talks are ongoing," Siegel said. "We are committed to reaching a positive resolution."

The Israeli spokesman added: "There will be additional rounds of discussions that will hopefully result in a mutual understanding between the two countries."

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said Monday the guidelines under discussion would be "mindful of U.S. concerns."

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this month at a news conference in Washington that China must not be allowed to undertake a "major military escalation" and that Israel "has a responsibility to be sensitive" to U.S. concerns.

Later, Rice registered her concerns to Israeli officials in Jerusalem. "The Israelis now understand our concerns," she told reporters, "and I'm certain that as good partners can, that we can come to some resolution."

On Monday, China complained about outside interference in its relations with Israel after reports that Israel was calling off the arms deal under U.S. pressure.

A statement by China's foreign ministry said development of relations with Israel "will not harm the interests of any third party" and that "other countries should not make unreasonable remarks regarding this."

State-owned Israel Aircraft Industries sold Harpy drones to China in the early 1990s, before Israel agreed under U.S. pressure to stop transfer of weapons technology to China.

Five years ago, the United States applied pressure on Israel, forcing
cancellation of plans to sell Phalcon reconnaissance aircraft to China. The deal was estimated to be worth $1 billion to $2 billion.

If there had been an agreement between Israel and the United States, the
current dispute could have been avoided, Ayalon said Monday in responding to questions after a speech to The Israel Project, a private group committed to Israel's security.

However, he also said "we have made great progress" on an agreement and
predicted it would be concluded soon.

The Israeli delegation was headed by Zvi Stauber, a former Israeli ambassador who heads a strategic think tank in Tel Aviv and was an aide to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

A second Israeli delegation that also held talks was led by a reserve Israeli major general, Herzl Bodingur.


Haaretz, "Israeli, U.S. talks on weapons deals with China end without result", 29 June 2005.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 29 June 2005.

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Tags: Israel, arms, China, selling, weapons, America, talks, negotiations, America, eneies, , conspiracy theories.

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