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Middle East Arms Sales Remarks by the Secretary of State on the Administration Proposals.

April 28, 1978

The administration is today transmitting to Congress formal notification of proposals to sell aircraft to Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. As indicated in our informal notification last February, the proposed sales involve 75 F-16's and 15 F-15's to Israel, 50 F-5's to Egypt, and 60 F-15's to Saudi Arabia.

These proposals are an important part of our search for peace in the Middle East. They maintain and enhance our close relationship with three key governments in the Middle East. Each of the three countries has a unique contribution to make to the objective of achieving a lasting peace.

As a nation, we have a strong and unshakable commitment to the security of Israel. The proposed sales to Israel will help preserve Israel's ability to defend itself.

The proposed sales to Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been based upon careful analysis of how best to meet their defense needs while maintaining the military balance in the region. These transactions will enhance the confidence in and friendship toward the United States on the part of each of these two countries with which we share vital mutual interests.

The proposed sales make it possible for the United States to maintain our historic commitment to the security of Israel while at the same time developing closer ties with moderate Arab nations which strongly support the peace process. They reflect our best judgment as to the national interest of the United States.

In submitting these proposed sales to Congress on the same day, the administration is not attempting to place conditions on the scope of the congressional review or the action by Congress. Indeed, we understand that the Congress will want to review these important transactions separately and with great care. We stand ready to facilitate that process.

At the same time, the responsibility of the President for the conduct of foreign affairs requires that he reserve judgment on the ultimate action to be taken until he has had an opportunity to review the action taken by the Congress on the proposals announced today.

Note: Secretary Vance spoke at 5:15 p.m. to reporters assembled in the Briefing Room at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Middle East Arms Sales Remarks by the Secretary of State on the Administration Proposals. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/245475

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