United States extends loan guarantees to Israel

The United States agreed to extend its loan guarantees for Israel by three years, it was reported Saturday. The guarantees were due to expire in 2008, and their extension will allow the government to borrow an additional $4.6 billion at a low interest rate, about half of the sum guaranteed by the US government. According to Israel Radio, the director-general of the Finance Ministry will head to Washington this week to appraise American officials of the state of the Israeli economy and of the government's economic policies following the Lebanon fighting.