WASHINGTON (Dec. 10)
The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to prohibit the sale or transfer of F-15E aircraft to Saudi Arabia, although it permitted the sale of earlier, less sophisticated models of the F-15.
The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), also stipulated that Saudi Arabia may not have more than 60 F-15s at any one time.
The House of Representatives approved identical legislation last month as part of the foreign aid authorization bill.
President Reagan is expected to receive the bill later this month, after the Senate and House bills are approved in final form.
In a related matter, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to ban the sale of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Bahrain or any other Persian Gulf state for one year. The House had approved such a ban last month.
Key supporters of Israel, including Rep. Stephen Solarz (D-N.Y.), Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Robert Kasten Jr. (R-Wis.) favored selling Stingers to Bahrain, arguing that it is a key ally, since it provides the United States with access to military facilities.
The administration also supported selling Stingers to Bahrain, with Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci leading the effort. It could invoke special emergency powers to implement such a sale. In 1984, President Reagan imposed such powers to sell Stingers and launchers to Saudi Arabia. However, in 1985, Congress killed Reagan’s proposed sale of 72 Stingers to Jordan.
A vote on proposals to restructure Israel’s debt to the United States is expected in Congress on Friday.