WASHINGTON (May. 15)
Twenty-eight freshmen members of the House have sent a letter to President Reagan urging him not to approve any new arms sales to Saudi Arabia “or other Arab nations not at peace with Israel.”
“We will oppose arms sales to Arab countries hostile to Israel with all the energy and determination in our power,” the Congressmen declared.
The letter, initiated by Rep. Mac Sweeney (R. Tex.), noted that the United States has, over the past decade, “provided an arsenal of sophisticated military hardware” to Saudi Arabia, “an avowed enemy of an American ally,” which “has undermined United States policy in the region. Within one month of U.S. Senate approval of the AWACS sale in 1981, the Saudis raised oil prices, sent millions of dollars to the PLO, and sabotaged American defense plans in the Persian Gulf.”
The Congressmen stressed to the President that “both Saudi Arabia’s continued pattern of hostile action toward U.S. policy and their steadfast refusal to participate in peace talks with Israel violates the criteria for new arms sales you established in 1981.”
Noting that Reagan said in 1981 that future arms deliveries would depend on Saudi assistance to the peace process, the letter said: “Saudi Arabia will never be able to meet that criterion because of its inherent instability which stems from Islamic fundamentalists’ opposition to Saudi Arabia’s Western ties.”
The Congressmen warned that “the idea of an unstable Saudi government cramming even more U.S. military equipment into their already swollen arsenal strikes fear into the hearts of every friend of Israel.”