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Home >> World
UPDATED: 20:08, March 02, 2007
Israel concerned about possible weapon deal between Russia, Syria
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Israel expressed concern about a possible Russia-Syria weapon deal under which Damascus may procure thousands of advanced antitank missiles, local daily Ha'aretz reported on Friday.

Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres on Friday urged the government to pressure Moscow to stop supplying weapons to Syria as Israeli officials have recently learned that Damascus is close to concluding a large deal with Russia, the report said.

"The United Nations is aware that weapons-smuggling from Syria to Hezbollah is continuing," Peres was quoted by Israel Radio as saying, underlining that "Israel must exert pressure on Moscow so it stops supplying the Syrians with weapons."

"Syria is moving between peace overtures and its temptations to go to war to which arms supply is an incentive," Peres added.

According to various estimates, the deal is worth several hundred million U.S. dollars and involves several thousand advanced antitank missiles, Ha'aretz said.

Israel has criticized Russia for supplying weapons to Syria. During last summer's conflict with Hezbollah, Israel said it found proof that Syria had transferred to Hezbollah advanced Russian- made antitank missiles from its arsenal.

An Israeli delegation later presented the evidence to senior Russian officials, who promised to re-evaluate some of the planned arms deals with Syria to ensure that advanced weaponry would not make its way to groups such as Hezbollah, according to Ha'aretz.

However, Israel still concerns that Russia will not keep its promise and that the deal with Damascus for the anti-tank missiles is near being finalized.

Source: Xinhua


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