Western diplomatic sources in Cairo say Israel has signed secret military agreements with 39 countries aimed at producing advanced weaponry.
The sources told the Cairo-based Al Gumhouriyyah daily that among the Jewish state’s partners were Turkey, China, Australia, Singapore, and others in central and south America.
They said the agreements were based on joint ventures to produce advanced weapons. Earlier reports on the same agreements focused on how they were aimed at preventing military secrets from falling into the wrong hands.
In July, India and Israel were preparing to sign a defense industrial accord that would allow for a wide range of military projects.
India's secretary of defense for production, Subir Datta, arrived for a visit to Israel and met his counterparts at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv as well as defense executives.
"We expect something over the next few days," an official said at the time, adding that "at this point, nothing has been signed."
The agreement would allow the state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and its Indian counterpart, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., to compete for Indian military projects, said Middle East Newsline (MENL).
Currently, Israeli companies do not have any formal ties with the state-owned Indian industry.
India is negotiating with Israel for a range of defense systems. These include the Phalcon airborne early-warning systems.
The Indian-Israeli military cooperation may spark criticism from Arab countries, which last month expressed “deep concern” over the military and security cooperation between India and Israel.
The Arab League sent in mid-June a memorandum to the Indian government, saying that the existing cooperation between India and Israel could “create tensions in the Middle East.”
Israel had to scrap a Phalcon deal with China last year over criticism by the US that it would provide the Communist state with advanced American-developed technology – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )