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September 4, 1981

The US is quietly urging Menachem Begin to "cool it" on the AWACS issue. Reagan's proposed sale of AWACS radar planes to Saudi Arabia is certain to come up when the Israeli prime minister visits Washington next week. The message to Begin has apparently been passed to the Israelis through the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.

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Begin's reaction is not clear, but the best bet among some friends of Israel in Washington is that he will indeed play down the issue by announcing that the proposed sale is a matter to be dealt with by the Reagan administration and the US Congress and that Israeli opposition to it is well known.

If Begin does not follow the advice from Washington, it could severely damage already strained relations with the Reagan administration and spoil his first meetings with the US President.m