JERUSALEM (Oct. 18)
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Clements said today that the Pentagon is now considering the effects the new arms deal with Israel will have on Americans military capacity and that the timetable of arms shipments to Israel will be determined partly by those considerations.
Clements made his remarks to newsmen shortly after his Air Force jet landed at Ben Gurion Airport with a large party of U.S. military experts and senior officers who will spend the next four days in conference with Israeli civilian and military leaders.
The Defense Department official characterized the talks to be held here as of “utmost importance,” especially with regard to the new weapons systems and equipment President Ford approved last week for sale to Israel. He said that most of the items will be supplied to Israel within the next two years but some of them will not be delivered for three years.
Clements heads a group of three generals, an admiral, and various civilian experts. The group, which will be in Israel through Thursday, will meet with top government, political and military figures. They will also visit other Mideast nations.