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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Israel sought to block military sales to Saudi Arabia

We were told that Israel would not seek to block that $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia because there was no point to trying. Now, thanks to Wikileaks, we know that we were told wrong (Hat Tip: Martin Kramer). This cable that summarizes a meeting that took place on November 17, 2009 at which Israel did try to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It was something called the Executive Session of the 40th Joint Political Military Group (JPMG) and the discussion was about maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge (QME).
4. (S) The GOI continued to express concern over the F-15 sale to Saudi Arabia. U.S. participants noted that the USG is unable to provide more detailed information about the sale until Saudi Arabia officially sends a Letter of Request (LOR). The GOI expressed additional concerns about stationing these new aircraft at Tabuk airfield in the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia -- close to the Israeli border. U.S. participants stated the USG understanding that this should not be an issue, as the Saudis are considering stationing new Typhoon aircraft at Tabuk. The GOI also raised AMRAAM sales to Jordan; U.S. participants explained that the new C-7 AMRAAM is an export version with capabilities similar to the C-5 version -- and therefore provides little to no increase in capabilities.

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