• Short Summary

    Israeli Premier Menachem Begin met Defence Minister Ezer Weizman on Tuesday (1 January) to discuss Mr.

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    SCU Israeli Defence Minister Ezer Weizman speaking to newsmen (3 shots)

    WEIZMAN: "I know the number, it's about one point eight, it's less than three point four, and I would like to emphasise that obviously what we tried to get is to get as big an aid as we thought was necessary."

    REPORTER: "Mr. Weizman, in what context was the possibility of Israel being used as an American base, in what contest was that being used, and what was being said?"

    WEIZMAN: "First, I think we should find new terminology. What's an American base? A mutual base of mutual interest. We didn't talk about it, and we did not discuss it, and I say it again and again: if the United States find it appropriate and necessary to ask for any help from Israel, Israel will give it."

    REPORTER: "To what extent is Israel directly concerned about Soviet involvement in Afghanistan?"

    WEIZMAN: "Well, I think the whole world should be concerned. The United States is definitely concerned -- we are concerned. I think it proves again, and shows, like an unfortunate shining light, the conflict between east and west, that the Soviets have the wishes and have the moves. I think it is very interesting, from a purely human point of view, to see the difference between American intervention, when and if there is, and a Russian intervention, regardless with what you agree and don't agree. Thank God, we live with a friendly country that doesn't take part in chopping heads."

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Israeli Premier Menachem Begin met Defence Minister Ezer Weizman on Tuesday (1 January) to discuss Mr. Weizman's recent trip to Washington to secure more U.S. aid. The United States agreed to increase arms sales credits to Israel by two hundred million dollars, a sum to be added to an original package of three billion dollars. The previous day, (Monday, 31 December, 1979), Mr. Weizman expressed his concern over the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, but first he was asked by how much U.S. aid to Israel had been increased.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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