BUENOS AIRES (Aug. 19)
Press accounts here report that under a bilateral arms agreement currently being negotiated, Argentina seeks to acquire U.S. made AWACS aircraft from Saudi Arabia, the World Jewish Congress reported.
The negotiations are said to be in their early stages, but the basis for the agreement was said to have been discussed during President Raul Alfonsin’s recent visit to Jiddah. If the deal is concluded, Argentina would become the first Latin American country to acquire the AWACS early warning radar plane.
The deal reportedly involves the sale by Argentina to Saudi Arabia of two Mekko-42 type Navy frigates. The AWACS aircraft and an undetermined amount in cash would serve as payment for the two frigates. Argentine government sources stated that within the next few months a mission of Saudi business and government officials will arrive in Buenos Aires to discuss the matter more fully with their Argentine counterparts.
The AWACS aircraft were originally sold to Saudi Arabia following a bruising Congressional battle several years ago to prevent the U.S. Administration from making the sale to Saudi Arabia.