U.S. to Get Israel’s Views on Soviet Sale of Submarines to Egypt

The Israel Foreign Ministry instructed its Embassies in Paris, London and Washington today to bring to the attention of the governments to which they are accredited Israel’s views on the delivery of Soviet submarines to Egypt, and to exchange views with these governments.

A statement earlier this week by an Israeli official made it clear that Israel sees the delivery of the undersea naval units as a “continuation of the Soviet policy of interference in Middle East affairs by arms deliveries.” The Israeli sharply noted the “strange contradiction” between this action and earlier Soviet professions of a desire to lessen tension in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Israeli sources here reiterated their belief that the three submarines had been turned over to Egypt, but admitted it was difficult to determine at what moment the vessels were completely in the hands of the Egyptians because Russian technicians would have to remain to train Egyptian crews. Israeli sources could not confirm reports that East German crews will man the U-boats but would not be surprised if the reports proved true because it has been known that East Germans have been acting as instructors in the Egyptian army.

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