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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING Briefer: Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2000, 1:42 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) QUESTION: It is not on this, but it is on Israel. I guess on Thursday, I understand, that the senior Israeli Defense Ministry officials will be coming to this building to talk about what they hope will be wrapping up an arms exporting agreement. Can you give any kind of expectation, if you think that is going to be done before the Barak-Clinton meeting? Can you talk about it at all? MR. REEKER: Yes. In anticipation of your presence here, I checked into that. Upcoming talks between the US and Israel is part of our continuing discussions that we began earlier this month in response to the President's announcement after the Camp David summit that we will: (1) conduct a comprehensive review to improve our strategic relationship with Israel; to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding regarding our bilateral assistance; and consider assistance to upgrade Israel's security in view of its withdrawal from Lebanon. I think we talked about earlier the three days of discussions that were held earlier this month which were intensive, constructive, beneficial. But, at the time, we said that more work needs to be done and we had planned to have additional discussions. The present discussions are a continuation of that work that we began in early August, and that is what will be taking place with the group you described. QUESTION: Will you be talking at all about technology transfer and the question of whether, if Israel builds its own military technology, who it can sell them to? There has been talk about a list of four countries: China, Russia, India and Pakistan. MR. REEKER: Well, in terms of questions about Israel's - any proposed arms sales or transfers, I would have to refer you to the Israeli Government, obviously. I think our talks will focus on the subjects that I listed. We are not engaged in any discussions with Israel regarding US arms sales to any country. QUESTION: We are not engaged regarding US arms sales? MR. REEKER: Right. Just to clarify, he was asking about arms sales generally so I was making a point that we are not engaged in any discussion about that. We do take into consideration the effect on Israel's qualitative military edge when making our decisions about arms sales to other countries. But US arms sales policy is not a subject of these discussions at all. QUESTION: How about Israeli arms sales policy? MR. REEKER: I think, in broadly discussing the issues that we outlined - that the President outlined - in terms of a comprehensive review of our strategic relationship with Israel, and a Memorandum of Understanding regarding our bilateral assistance is what we will be talking about there. I don't have anything more specific beyond that. QUESTION: Also, you said that the present talks? This is right; they begin Thursday? MR. REEKER: Yes, exactly. Present, as in this is the set of talks. QUESTION: And they're how long? MR. REEKER: I don't know. I don't have a specific set of -- QUESTION: But they are not open-ended days? MR. REEKER: No. We had three days of discussions last time. I would anticipate a similar session beginning later this week. (The briefing was concluded at 2:40 P.M.)