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Friday, December 23, 2011

Defense Ministry kills sale of intelligence gathering system to Turkey

Despite a desire in Israel to improve relations with Turkey, the Defense Ministry has drawn the line at the sale of a sophisticated intelligence gathering system whose technology it fears could fall into the hands of Iran or Syria.
The diplomatic crisis with Turkey intensified on Thursday after the Defense Ministry decided not to renew an export license for Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to sell advanced intelligence systems to the Turkish Air Force.

Defense officials said that Israel was working to improve ties with Turkey but that the Defense Ministry is "responsible for every product that receives an export license" and that it could not currently permit the delivery of the intelligence-gathering systems to Turkey.

"This has to do strictly with this system and should not impact the overall ties between the countries," an official said.

The $140 million deal, signed in 2009, was for the sale of the advanced infrared Lorop camera and associated equipment. The camera was developed by Elbit subsidiary El-Op and is installed in a pod which can be carried on combat aircraft. The systems were supposed to be delivered to Turkey in the coming months.

Both IAI and Elbit are in talks with Defense Ministry Dir.-Gen. Udi Shani about the expected economic implications and the possibility that they will be exposed to lawsuits by Turkey for reneging on the contract.
YNet adds:
The Defense Ministry also responded to the report, issuing the following statement: "As a rule, the Ministry of Defense does not detail all the considerations and information at the basis of its decision-making in setting defense exports' policy…decisions are undertaken on a professional basis, in line with security and diplomatic considerations."

The nixed deal was signed between Jerusalem and Ankara in 2008, with negotiations dating back to 2000.

Earlier, officials in the Defense Ministry and in Elbit Systems, the manufacturer of the system, confirmed the deal was called off. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the matter. There was no immediate comment from Ankara.
So much for Turkey's 'brilliant' policy bringing Israel to its knees.



At 11:24 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Hey, actions have consequences. Everybody but Western liberals and chronically outraged, aggrieved Muslims anywhere grasp that fact of life.


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