Gaullist Deputy Protests Planned Sale of Jet Trainers to Algeria by France

A Gaullist member of the French parliament has protested against government plans to sell 28 Fouga-Magister jet training planes to Algeria, a nation whose verbal assaults against Israel have been the most extreme of any of the Arab states. Algeria did not sign a cease-fire agreement after the Six-Day War and reportedly has regular units of its armed forces serving with the Egyptians on the west bank of the Suez Canal.

Pierre-Charles Krieg warned Premier Jacques Chaban-Delmas that the planes “might end up in Egypt training Egyptian and Syrian pilots.” The French embargo on arms to the Middle East supposedly bans the sale of military aircraft to any of the belligerents in the June, 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Algeria sent troops and aircraft to Egypt at the time but did not participate in the fighting.

The Fouga-Magister is a supersonic jet widely used by the Israeli Air Force. It is equipped with two 7-2 mm. machine guns and can be fitted with rockets and light bombs. The French Government announced last week that it would sell 28 of the aircraft to Algeria under an agreement that provides for the training of Algerian pilots and ground crews in France. It is generally believed here that several hundred other Algerian military technicians, including artillery and armored corps officers, will be trained in France. Mr. Krieg asked the Premier to make France’s position clear on the embargo of military equipment and spare parts to Israel and the sale of arms to other Middle East countries.

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