Iran, Arrow to top US-Israel meetings

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October 13, 2007 23:22

Value of Israel maintaining technological edge over S. Arabia and Egypt also on agenda of security talks.

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Iran, Arrow to top US-Israel meetings

jon kyl 224. (photo credit: AP)

The threat of a nuclear Iran and the Arrow Missile Defense System will head the agenda for a delegation of MKs traveling to the US this week to meet with top lawmakers and defense contractors. The US-Israel Joint Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which is headed by MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), meets bi-annually to discuss security and foreign policy issues. "These meetings are extremely important for both countries to understand each other and discuss security risks they are facing," said Steinitz on the eve of his departure Saturday night. MKs Israel Hasson (Israel Beiteinu), Ran Cohen (Meretz) and Avigdor Yitzhaki (Kadima) will join him on the week-long trip, where they will meet with US Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in addition to top US lawmakers and defense officials. The MKs will also travel to Texas, where multi-billion dollar defense corporation Lockheed Martin will host them. "The agenda of the trip was shaped by the security threats facing our country," said Steinitz. "We must discuss the Iranian nuclear threat before it is too late." He added that when the MKs had discussed the issue on previous visits, it had prompted US lawmakers to pass a bill banning trade between American and Iranian companies. The Arrow Missile Defense System, which was partially funded by the US, will also be presented as "instrumental to Israel's defense," said Steinitz, who added that it was now "more important than ever." On a visit to Israel last year, a US delegation led by Kyl viewed a test of the Arrow missile. Steinitz said that the delegation would also discuss the importance of Israel maintaining a technological edge over Saudi Arabia and Egypt. "We will request that certain things are not made available to those countries. We will also ask that Israel is given certain things so that it can maintain its edge," said Steinitz. He declined to comment on the specific technology being discussed.


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