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Reagan, in Letter to Begin Reaffirms U.S. Strategic Cooperation with Israel

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President Reagan has reaffirmed his commitment to go ahead with the strategic cooperation agreed between him and Premier Menachem Begin at their summit talks in Washington last month.

In a letter to Begin over the weekend the President wrote that the U.S. would fulfill its undertakings. Word of the letter was leaked here yesterday — apparently to counter a report from Washington to the effect that the Pentagon is linking the strategic cooperation with Israel to the passage of the AWACS sale through the Senate.

Some observers here believe Reagan wrote the letter to help reassure pro-Israel Senators that the U.S.-Israel relationship would remain strong despite the AWACS sale.

Israeli sources said State Department Counsellor Robert MacFarlane would come to Israel later this week for talks with Begin and other officials on implementing the strategic cooperation.

Earlier this month, Israeli sources said Defense Minister Ariel Sharon had declined to consult with the U.S. on the pre-positioning of American military-medical facilities here, on the grounds that the strategic cooperation must be broad-based and not piecemeal.

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