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Israel Lifts Arms Embargo on S. Africa

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The government this week lifted Israel’s seven-year embargo on the sale of arms to South Africa.

The original ban, passed in March 1987, did not impose a full arms embargo. It allowed for existing contracts with South Africa to be honored but prohibited any new agreements from being signed.

On Sunday, that restriction was lifted by the Cabinet in recognition of the changes that have taken place in South Africa and in accordance with the easing of trade restrictions by the international community.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told the Knesset last week that a delegation from South Africa had visited Israel last November to work out a cooperation agreement with the Israel Defense Force on pre-conscript paramilitary training.

This training would presumably be along lines similar to programs used in Israel for high school students.

Peres also said the new government of South Africa, led by President Nelson Mandela, was likely to step up military cooperation with Israel.

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