U.S. to Israel: Don’t Sell AWACS, Missiles to New Delhi
John Bolton, the U.S. Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security flew to Israel on Tuesday in an apparent effort to delay the planned sale of advanced radar planes to India, according to AP.
Washington has urged Tel Aviv to hold off selling weapons technology to New Delhi, in light of the current crisis with Pakistan, according to another senior U.S. official. "There are some military sales questions that the Israelis have raised that posed problems for us and we've told them about that," he conveyed.
"These are sales they want to make to the Indians where we've basically said this is not the right time to be selling to either side anything, frankly," he added. "We've made it very clear to them. This is not the time to do it", according to Express India.
After the establishment of full diplomatic ties in 1992, Israel and India have immensely strengthened defense cooperation, with India buying sophisticated defense equipment from Israel.
The senior U.S. official stated another area of American concern, which involves the Arrow-2 anti-tactical ballistic missile defense system, a joint U.S.-Israeli project for which Washington provided a majority of the development funding.
Express India reports that the United States last year led Israel to believe that it would not oppose Israel's proposed sale of three Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) planes to India, according to a top Israeli official.
However, that sale, estimated at $1 billion, is on "temporary hold" due to the military confrontation currently sparked up between India and Pakistan, he said. "There have been talks between Israel and India on the Phalcon radar system. We understood they (Americans) were not opposed to it but in the current situation, it's on hold because no one wants to inflame tensions in the current situation," the Israeli official said.
The Phalcon planes are produced by Israel and are based entirely on Israeli technology, so therefore, technically, U.S. approval is not required. However, because America is a close ally, Israel advised the Washington administration and prefers to have its support.
Also to be discussed is Israel's hopes to sell its advanced Arrow anti-missiles to Turkey and possibly to other countries. The Arrow, which has been tested successfully, was produced with the United States, so U.S. permission in this case is technically required. The Bush administration has not taken a stance on whether Israel can go ahead, according to AP.
In the past, Washington pressured Israel to cancel a similar Phalcon deal with China. (Albawaba.com)
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