WASHINGTON (Dec. 21)
President Carter’s new policy of restraint on the sale and transfer of weapons abroad could affect Israeli-American military arrangements, sources here confirmed today. The President announced Monday night his intention to cut down arms sales.
The State Department said yesterday that the U.S. “guidelines” on arms now is to ban the introduction of advanced weapons and equipment that would significantly elevate the recipient country’s military power; to impose restraints on the “co-production” of advanced weapons systems; and to control the transfer of weapons to third parties.
A major issue between Israel and the U.S. has been Israel’s request for co-production rights for the American F-16 jet fighter and other sophisticated military equipment. The U.S. so far has withheld that authority which Israel seeks for economic as well as military reasons. Israeli sources here confirmed that bilateral matters were discussed between Premier Menachem Begin and President Carter at their White House meetings last weekend. The specific subjects were not disclosed.
Carter’s announcement of restraint in arms sales followed a five-day meeting here between U.S. and Soviet military experts that ended Monday. The State Department described the meetings as a “preliminary exchange of views on the arms trade.” Further meetings will be decided upon later.