Israel weighs statement on Egyptian 'arms parity'

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Israeli Defense Minister-designate Yitzhak Shamir said Thursday he is "studying" a statement by Egypt's new defense minister, Admed Badawi, that Cairo aims as military parity with Israel. Earlier Mr. Badawi had told an interviewer on Cairo Radio that Egypt intended to become Israel's equal in weaponry and tactical capability. He also said that Egypt had retained military liaison with various Arab states despite their rejection of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

Monitor contributor Jason Morris reports that when asked about the Badawi statement, Mr. Shamir told the Foreign Press Association here: "I have to study it carefully and, if necessary, discuss it with Egyptian representatives on an appropriate occasion." If Mr. Badawi's remarks are an accurate reflection of Egyptian government policy, this would constitute a serious problem for Israel, for it contradicts the Israelis' basic concept of their national security: that Israel's military prowess must at all times be on a par with the sum of the arms might of the surrounding Arab states.

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