Israel signs defence deal with Britain's air force: report
State-owned Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has signed a $25 million deal with Britain's Royal Air Force, the Jerusalem Post newspaper reported Tuesday.
"The deal marks defense companies' penetration of the British market which had been closed for decades due to London's arms embargo," the paper said in a front-page report.
Officials from IAI and the British embassy were not immediately available for comment on the deal, which the Post said involved the supply of a combat training system known as the Ehud pod.
"Both Britain and Israel enjoy a very special strategic relationship with the United States and it opens very broad avenues for marketing our products and other business activities," Israel's deputy defence minister Ephraim Sneh was quoted as saying at a Tel Aviv conference of British and Israeli aerospace companies.
Britain had most recently imposed an arms embargo on Israel after its full-scale invasion of Lebanon in 1982 but lifted it in the mid-1990s.
Defence officials said that although Israel is now Britain's biggest trading partner in the Middle East, with bilateral trade of about 2.5 billion pounds ($3.5 billion, defense deals account for only a few dozen million dollars.
The Post said RAF chief Sir Peter Squire is due to visit for three days next month.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)