/** disarm.armstra: 1059.0 **/
** Topic: (Argentina) U.S. yields to Brits on Argentina **
** Written 1:43 PM Aug 20, 1997 by firstname.lastname@example.org in cdp:disarm.armstra **
From: David Isenberg <email@example.com>
Subject: (Argentina) U.S. yields to Brits on Argentina
For personal, noncommecial use only.
Friday August 15 6:19 PM EDT
U.S. yields to Brits on Argentina
WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (UPI) _ Under heavy pressure from Britain, the United States has agreed to limit military cooperation with Argentina under a new defense alliance the Clinton administration will enter into with the South American nation.
U.S. and British officials tell United Press International that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has privately pledged to Foreign Secretary Robin Cook that London will be consulted prior to any arms sales for Argentina, with which Britain fought a war 15 years ago and President Clinton soon is expected to designate as a Major Non-NATO ally.
They say the agreement between London and Washington, NATO partners and staunch allies, essentially gives Britain veto power over all American weapons sales to Argentina.
Members of that exclusive club of non-NATO allies, which includes only Israel, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, are permitted to purchase weapons from Pentagon stocks on a priority basis and receive specialized military training from the Pentagon. But Britain, which has significantly improved relations with Argentina since fighting a full-scale war over the Falkland Islands in 1982, complained about the arrangement. U.S. and British officials say that as a result Albright assured Cook during a meeting in Hong Kong last month, where they both attended ceremonies marking the handover to China, and during a telephone conversation Thursday that the Clinton administration will consult with British officials before concluding any arms sales to Argentina.
A spokesman at the British Embassy, Robert Chatterton-Dickson, tells UPI: "Obviously, that was something we wanted to look at. We are now confident that nothing in the agreement will interfere with our ability to defend the Falkland Islands.''
State Department spokesman James P. Rubin acknowledged British concerns and said "problems'' over the new alliance between the United States and Argentina had been worked out between Albright and Cook. Before a meeting with Albright today, Argentinian Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella said Britain should have no problem with the new arrangement as relations between London and Buenos Aires are "excellent.''
Argentina has expressed a desire to purchase American F-16 jet fighters, a transaction U.S. officials say they are "carefully considering.'' British officials say they plan in the coming months to discuss the potential F-16 sale.
Albright said earlier this week that President Clinton was preparing to soon announce a decision formally designating Argentina as a Major Non-NATO ally of the United States. U.S. officials say Albright will "put the finishing touches'' on the pact during the talks with Di Tella, but leave the formal announcement for Clinton to make in the coming weeks.
Copyright 1997 by United Press International