JERUSALEM (Feb. 17)
Political sources here said today that they were pleased with the Reagan Administration’s clarifications and declarations regarding possible arms sales to Jordan.
Expressions of pleasure were focused on President Reagan’s letter to Premier Menachem Begin in which he stated that American policy toward Israel has not changed and that he is “determined to see that Israel’s qualitative technological edge is maintained. “Reagan also stated:” There has been no change regarding our military supply relationship for Jordan and (Defense) Secretary (Caspar) Weinberger brought me no new requests.”
Sources here noted that even statements by Weinberger yesterday sounded more in line with Reagan’s policy. Appearing on the NBC-TV “Today” program. Weinberger said that Israel’s military edge would be a factor in any discussion of arms requests by Jordan.
Following the display of bi-partisan unity in the Knesset Monday, when the ruling Likud coalition and the opposition Labor Alignment voted 88-3 opposing the sale of U.S. arms to Jordan, Israel has moved to adopt a milder tone in its statements about the Reagan Administration and to create an atmosphere of business-as-usual in its relations with Washington.
Meanwhile, Richard Fairbanks, who has been appointed as Secretary of State Alexander Haig’s special representative for the autonomy talks between Israel and Egypt, was scheduled to arrive here today for a renewed effort to reach some progress in the negotiations before Israel completes withdrawal from Sinai by April 26.