U.s.-israel Ties Couldn’t Be Better, Carlucci Declares in Israel

Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci arrived here Wednesday for a round of meetings with Israeli leaders, in what is probably his last encounter before the change of administrations in Washington.

Carlucci appeared on the final leg of a three-nation tour of the region that also took him to Jordan and Egypt.

Before leaving Cairo Tuesday, Carlucci asserted that the United States will continue to foster the Middle East peace regardless of who is the next prime minister of Israel and whatever the composition of the new government.

His remarks at Ben-Gurion Airport were confined, however, to the American-Israeli strategic relationship.

Later, during a tour of Israel Defense Force installations while accompanied by Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Carlucci said that relations between the United States and Israel “could not be better at this point.”

He said of his talks with Rabin, “It did not take long to review our programs this morning because all our programs are in such good shape.”

Carlucci was greeted at the airport by Rabin and Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Shomron. He later met with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

Their talks were reported to have focused on mutual strategic cooperation. Israel’s objections to American arms sales to Arab states also are believed to have been raised.

But observers here played down the importance of the visit, inasmuch as both Carlucci and Rabin will soon leave office.

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