Talks in Washington D.C. are continuing in order to persuade key congressmen to support President?
MV INTERIOR" Sheikh Ahmed Yaki Yamani speaking in English. (2 SHOTS)S"
DICKSON:"Could I ask you specifically, in relation to the F-15, what is your present attitude to that being stalled in the Congress?"
YAMANI:"I would think that we badly need this aircraft, that even the American administration admit this is a necessity for Saudi Arabia, so if we are denied this very important defence weapon it means that the Americans are not really concerned with our security. This is how we'll take it."
DICKSON:"Is there a very direct connection in your mind between your oil policy and the delivery of 60 F-15s? Would a fewer number, if that was all that the administration could get through the Congress, be acceptable?"
YAMANI:"No, 60 is what we need and I cannot say that there is a direct relationship between our oil policy and this item. Our oil policy is based on a variety of foundations. One of them is our concern with the world economy."
DICKSON:"Is it possible though to conceive of a situation where there was armed hostilities between Arab states and Israel, with the United States supporting Israel, when you wouldn't be forced by Arab opinion into another boycott?"
YAMANI:"No, I don't think so. It's not a question of a boycott as I said. Circumstances are completely changed now but when there is war in the area, we are part of the area."
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Background: Talks in Washington D.C. are continuing in order to persuade key congressmen to support President Carter's planned fighter-jet sales to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. President Carter had linked the proposed sale of 60 advanced F-15 jets to Saudi Arabia to a less controversial sale of 50 F-5E fighter bombers to Egypt and 15 F-15S and 75 F-16 fighter bombers to Israel. The package is being fiercely debated in Congress and the President has said the entire proposal would be withdrawn if any portion of it were not approved. During the informal meeting in Taif of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last weekend (7 May) Don Dickson of Visnews asked Saudi Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmed Yaki Yamani about his country's attitude to the jet sale controversary.