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Begin Warned Not to Press Awacs Issue when He Meets with Reagan

August 24, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

President Reagan’s special advisor on Jewish affairs, Jacob Stein, is reported to have warned Premier Menachem Begin not to press his luck with Reagan by continuing to try to block the sale of American AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia. Stein was in Israel last week for talks with Begin and Israeli leaders, in apparent preparation for Begin’s visits to Washington for talks with the U.S. President next month.

Israeli papers say that Stein told Begin that Reagan and the U.S. Administration would view a continued Israeli policy to persuade Senators and Congressmen to oppose the aircraft sale as a personal affront to Reagan himself.

Stein said in a weekend radio interview here that Israel could trust the Reagan Administration’s integrity in its support for Israel. He said he thought the American use of military bases in Israel might be “one element which may be on the table for discussion” during Begin’s Washington talks.

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