§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they welcome, in the absence of international agreement on "peace and security in the Middle East", the United States Administration's determination that arms exports to Middle East countries which are their "friends and allies" should be resumed as quickly as possible as "aid" and at prices subsidised to the extent of 1 billion dollars; and, if so, whether there are any countries in the area to which they think it might not be wise to send weapons or new technology.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (The Earl of Caithness):
We understand that the figure of 1 billion dollars is the proposed amount of EXIM BANK guarantees for US defence sales worldwide. Regional security and arms control in the Middle East are matters which we are discussing urgently with the US administration and other coalition partners. We launched an initiative at the European Council in Luxembourg on 8th April designed to monitor and control the scale of arms build-up in any one country.