[news] Stay away from S Asia, Pak warns Israel

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 20:08:03 -0000

JERUSALEM: Apparently perturbed by increasing Indo-Israeli defence
cooperation and a possible sale of Phalcon spy plane to New Delhi,
Pakistan has asked the Jewish state not to get involved in South Asia. 

Senior Pakistani officials conveyed this message to a high-ranking
Israeli official in Paris last week, Hebrew daily MaFariv reported
quoting sources here. 

"Don't become involved in our region so that we are not dragged into
doing something similar in your region," the paper quoted the officials
as saying. 

Israeli defence sources said security cooperation between New Delhi and
Tel Aviv was not targeted at any country. Allaying fears that the sale
of Phalcon AWACS system could disturb the military balance in South
Asia, the sources said "at the end of the day it's a defence system
which cannot change the balance in the region." 

Defence partnerships between New Delhi and Tel Aviv has raised concern
among few Arab countries in the past. 

During an international conference on missiles in Paris last week, a
Pakistani official expressed similar concern about possible Israeli
sales of Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems system and Arrow
anti-ballistic missile defence systems to New Delhi. 

"We are deeply concerned that there are sales of anti-ballistic missile
defence systems and advanced airborne early warning abilities which
ignore the need of stability in our region", he said. 

Earlier, Israel made it clear that there was no pressure from the US of
any kind against the Phalcon sale and that it was upto New Delhi to
decide on the spy plane deal. 

Israel wants to sell three Phalcons to Indian Air Force and the two
sides have been negotiating the estimated $1 billion deal for quite some
time now. The radar systems of the Phalcons will extend the Indian Air
Force's range of operation and will give India control and monitoring
capabilities from the sky. 

Israel has become India's second largest arms supplier after Russia,
which include sea-to-sea missiles, surveillence systems, upgradation of
India's Soviet-era tanks and aircraft, border monitoring equipments,
night vision devices and intelligence cooperation. 

Source:  The Times of India 

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