Sale of military equipment from UK to Middle East

FCO 8/2407 1975 Jan 01 - 1975 Dec 31

This file concerns the sale of military equipment to the Middle East. It contains correspondence and memoranda relating to:

  • The 1973 Middle east arms embargo, following the war between Israel and Arab countries in October 1973; draft papers by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on the potential damage caused by the embargo to Britain’s reputation
  • HMG’s reply to a letter from the Co-Chairman of the Jewish Defence League R J Frank regarding the existence of controls on the transfer of arms supplied by the UK to the Middle East
  • A Jaguar aircraft demonstration tour in the Middle East during December 1974, including itineraries and background information on the aircraft; a cutting from the Financial Times entitled ‘Saudis shown Jaguar fighter’, dated 1 December 1975; the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s impressions of Jaguar aircraft after flying one; Saudi Arabia’s refusal to purchase Jaguar aircraft without permission from HMG allowing resale to Egypt
  • Requests for a higher degree of professionalism and coordination within the MOD when submitting items for political clearance
  • The admiration of the Qatari Minister of Defence Sheikh Sa'ad Bin Abdulla Al Sabah for the British Aircraft Corporation’s (BAC) training arrangements for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF)
  • A list of follow-on actions agreed between HMG and Rolls-Royce Limited after Rolls-Royce’s marketing presentation in the Middle East in October 1975
  • An extract from Minister of State David Ennals' speech to Parliament on 14 November 1975, including reference to: efforts by Britain and the US to win Egypt away from the influence of the Soviet Union
  • A visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to the UK between 6 and 9 November 1975, including speaking notes on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinians, Zionism, and Lebanon
  • Portuguese arms sales
  • A brief for an Economic Summit which will take place between 15 and 17 November 1975, to discuss HMG’s policy to encourage the export of defence equipment to friendly governments