Letter to Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel on United States Military Assistance Policies for the Middle East

February 16, 1982

Dear Menachem:

Recent press reports have presented incorrect and exaggerated commentary regarding U.S. military assistance policies for the Middle East.

I want you to know that America's policy toward Israel has not changed. Our commitments will be kept. I am determined to see that Israel's qualitative technological edge is maintained and am mindful as well of your concerns with respect to quantitative factors and their impact upon Israel's security.

The policy of this government remains as stated publicly by me. Secretary Haig's and Secretary Weinberger's statements on the public record are also clear. There has been no change regarding our military supply relationship with Jordan, and Secretary Weinberger brought me no new request. Any decision on future sales to Jordan or any other country in the region will be made in the context of my Administration's firm commitment to Israel's security and the need to bring peace to the region.

Israel remains America's friend and ally. However, I believe it is in the interest of both our countries for the United States to enhance its influence with other states in the region. I recognize the unique bond between the United States and Israel and the serious responsibilities which this bond imposes on us both.

Sincerely,

Ron

[His Excellency Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel]