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Kuwait, not yet buying arms from USSR, wants West deal

Kuwait has not bought a major arms package from the Soviet Union but may seek one from the West, a top White House official said Tuesday. National Security Adviser Robert MacFarlane warned that a big arms sale to the politically weak country could be destabilizing and urged Kuwait to continue its reliance on Saudi Arabia's early-warning defenses, provided by American AWACS planes.

Mr. MacFarlane also said a second Reagan administration would make Middle East peace and nuclear arms reduction two of its chief foreign policy goals.

The Reagan administration has consistently backed the joint defense of the Gulf through the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, shored up with US assurances that it would step in to protect regional security if necessary.

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