Israel, Germany renew talks on submarine sale

22nd October 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 October 2004 , TEL AVIV/BERLIN - Germany and Israel have renewed talks on the sale of two submarines to the Jewish state, the Israeli Ha'aretz daily reported Friday. According to the Israeli daily, quoting German defence sources, Germany's Defence Ministry and its military support the Israeli request, since it would provide employment at shipyards. However, the government also has to approve the deal and it is divided on the issue. Israeli Defence Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron visited Berlin this

22 October 2004

TEL AVIV/BERLIN - Germany and Israel have renewed talks on the sale of two submarines to the Jewish state, the Israeli Ha'aretz daily reported Friday.

According to the Israeli daily, quoting German defence sources, Germany's Defence Ministry and its military support the Israeli request, since it would provide employment at shipyards. However, the government also has to approve the deal and it is divided on the issue.

Israeli Defence Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron visited Berlin this week to meet with his German counterpart, senior Bundeswehr officers, and the chairman of the foreign affairs and defence committee in the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament.

The main sticking point to the deal is monetary, as Israel wants Germany to partially fund the construction of the submarines, which is expected to cost nearly USD one billion or to grant a long-term interest-free loan. The German treasury is opposed to these ideas.

Israel hopes Germany will ultimately agree to supply the submarines and announce its willingness to fund their construction by the beginning of 2005, 40 years since diplomatic ties between the two countries were re-established, Ha'aretz said.

Germany supplied Israel with three Dolphin-class submarines in 1999-2000. The vessels were built in German shipyards, according to specific plans developed by the Israeli Navy. After the 1991 Gulf War, Germany agreed to fund most of the project.

DPA

Subject: German news

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