US intimidation keeps Israel out of Turkish arms deal

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli defense officials on Tuesday admitted that fear of upsetting Washington had kept Israel from bidding on a recent lucrative contract to develop and build a new tank for the Turkish armed forces.

Ministry of Defense sources told The Jerusalem Post that earlier this summer Turkey approached Israeli Military Industries and invited the world-renowned arms contractor to submit a bid on the new tank project.

But officials ultimately decided against bidding over concerns that competing with American defense contractors would strain Israeli-US defense relations.

Israeli Military Industries has lowered its international profile since a 2005 flare-up between Israel and the US over the contractor's upgrading of Chinese military drones. That rift was only mended after Israel effectively gave the US veto power over Israeli arms sales to certain countries.

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