JERUSALEM (Nov. 30)
The departure of Field Marshall Abdel Hakim Amer, of the United Arab Republic, for Moscow to start negotiations for new and large quantities of Soviet arms for Egypt is provoking much interest in Israel. Marshall Amer is being accompanied by a large entourage of Egyptian military experts
The Egyptian commander-in-chief of Nasser’s armed forces was scheduled to arrive in Moscow today for his second visit to the Soviet capital. He went to Moscow the first time in 1956 to negotiate a deal for a large purchase of Soviet weapons. He concluded a similar agreement with Czechoslovakia at that time.
Marshall Amer’s second visit was at the invitation of Soviet Premier Khrushchev. While UAR officials have maintained an official silence on the purpose of the second visit, UAR President Nasser was known to want new armaments to replace the 1956 purchases. One of the main items would be new planes to replace the UAR’s aging MIG-17’s which have proved to be no match for Israel’s Mysteres and Vautours in occasional clashes. Presumably, Nasser wants to acquire the new and advanced Soviet MIG-19’s.
It was recalled here today that Col. Ezer Weizmann, Commander of the Israel Air Force, told a United Jewish Appeal mission two weeks ago that Israel needed pure Jet interceptors to deal with the threat of acquisition of MIG-19’s by the UAR. Experts on Arab policies said that Marshall Amer’s visit was to complete details that were agreed upon in principle when Nasser met Khrushchev in New York at the United Nations General Assembly in September.