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U.S. Has No Objection to Israel Selling Mirage Planes to Argentina

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The United States raised no objections today to Israel’s sale of 26 Mirage war planes to Argentina reportedly completed two months ago. The planes are presumed to be more than 12 years old since France is said not to have sold Mirages to Israel since the Six-Day War. The financial basis has not been disclosed.

“We do not consider the sale destabilizing,” State Department spokeswoman Jill Schukar said when asked whether the sale would affect the arms balance in Latin America. The U.S. prohibits shipment of American arms to Argentina. No American components are in the Mirage fighter.

The U.S. has forbidden Israel’s sale of the Israeli-made Kfir plane to Ecuador because the State Department said U.S. policy opposes the building up of arms in Latin America. The U.S. has a veto over Israel’s sale of the Kfir plane since they have American engines.

The sale of the Mirages comes at a time of reported rising tensions between Argentina and Chile over control of some islands at the southern tip of Chile. The controling country would have sovereign rights over 200 miles of ocean from these islands. “Our knowledge of the transaction is limited, Schukar said. She said “the situations are different” and U.S. policy has not changed since the Ecuador decision.

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