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Efforts to Prevent German Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

Dov Ben-Meir, a Labor member of the Knesset and chairman of Histadrut in Tel Aviv, has received assurances from friends of Israel in West Germany that they will do their utmost to prevent the sale of advanced weaponry by the Bonn government to Saudi Arabia. A score of trade union officials, members of the Bundestag and leaders of the governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) responded to a letter on the subject addressed to them by Ben-Meir.

Several expressed dismay that such arms deliveries were even under consideration by the government. But they could not say what the outcome will be in the current internal debate here over whether the Federal Republic should end its self-imposed ban on weapons sales to countries that are at war or are located in areas of tension. If the ban is lifted, the way would be open for the sale of sophisticated weapons systems, including the new Leopard II tanks to the Saudis.

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