AMSTERDAM (Apr. 19)
Egypt is showing interest in buying three or four Dutch “Fokker Friendship” naval patrol aircraft in their new coastal patrol version which was shown publicly only a few weeks ago.
The Dutch government has approved negotiations between Fokker and Egypt, though this does not mean it will automatically grant an export license if negotiations succeed. A government license is required for export of military material from Holland. The total amount involved is forty to fifty million Guilders.
In a radio interview yesterday the previous Minister of Defense, the Liberal Hendrik den Toom, strongly advocated selling the Fokkers to Egypt. He stressed that they are defensive aircraft only and equipped with electronic apparatus for spotting enemy submarines.
He pointed to the precarious position of Dutch industry at the moment and the heavy burdens of the Dutch economy and urged that this substantial order should not be rejected by a government veto against an export license. Moreover, in case of a Dutch refusal other Euromarket countries would be glad to take over, he said, adding that the United States also supplies military material to Egypt.