The US will sell Saudi Arabia F-15 fighter jets without long-range weapons and other advanced equipment as a result of Israeli pressure, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
The report states that 84 fighter jets will be supplied to Saudi Arabia over a ten year period,
but these will not be as technologically advanced as those used by the
Israel debates F-15 purchase
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The $30 billion defense package is said to be one of the biggest deals of its kind to date.
During months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, officials including Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly conveyed grave concern to the US regarding the proposed deal, on the basis that if advanced weaponry is supplied to other countries, Israel's military advantage in the region would be diminished and security would be compromised.
According to the report, Israel still has some reservations about
the proposed plan, despite assurances and clarifications from US
officials. However, Israel is not expected to challenge the progression
of the deal. The process could start moving forward as early as next
The Wall Street Journal
quoted Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell as saying: "We have been
working very closely with the Israeli government at the highest levels
to address their concerns on this and other issues."
"Israel is not the only one with security concerns in the region and we
have responsibilities to other allies as well."