WASHINGTON (Jun. 27)
An amendment barring the transfer of U.S. Phantom jets sold to Saudi Arabia to any third power was appended to a foreign aid authorization bill by a voice vote in the U.S. Senate today. The proviso, drafted by Sens. Abraham Ribicoff (D. Conn.) and Henry M. Jackson (D. Wash.) did not mention Saudi Arabia by name.
In introducing it, however, Sen. Jackson remarked that Saudi Arabia cannot allow any Phantoms it may acquire to be used for training any non-Saudi pilots and is prohibited from making them available to “Egyptian nationals in any capacity.”
Saudi Arabia is reportedly seeking to purchase 24-30 Phantoms as part of a billion dollar weapons deal with the U.S. The Israeli government has officially indicated its anxiety to the Nixon Administration that the supersonic fighter-bombers may be transferred to other Arab countries for use against Israel.
The Jackson-Ribicoff amendment provides that no country receiving weapons from the U.S. may, without the President’s consent, “permit the use” of such weapons “by persons who are not nationals or employes or agents of that country.” Should the proviso be violated, the measure provides that “No sophisticated weapons, including jet aircraft or spare parts and associated ground equipment for such aircraft shall be furnished under this or any other act” to that country “after the date” of violation.”
$50 MILLION FOR ISRAELI SECURITY
In another action related to the Middle East today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted without opposition to provide $50 million in supporting security assistance to Israel, double the amount contained in the Administration’s aid proposal. The increase was proposed by Rep. Donald M. Fraser (D. Minn.) who called for raising the total security assistance in the foreign aid bill to $125 million “of which not less than $50 million is to be available to Israel.”
The House figure for security assistance to Israel is now identical to that adopted by the Senate yesterday. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman J. William Fulbright himself sponsored the doubling of the aid to Israel. The $50 million is considered certain to be included in the authorization bill when both houses finally adopt it. The bill, however, must run the gauntlet of appropriation legislation.