Arms sales to Middle East

FCO 8/2846 1977 Jan 01 - 1977 Dec 31

This file concerns arms sales to the Middle East and Africa. It contains correspondence relating to:

  • Confusion between departments within HMG as to responsibility for arms sales; with a statement by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on arms sales policy
  • Discussions with the Minister-Counsellor of the Soviet Embassy Y A Semenov on the Arab-Israeli conflict and arms proliferation in the Middle East
  • Arrangements for defence sales exhibitions, including an exhibition of armoured vehicles by the Royal Armoured Corps and an exhibition by the Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), which are attended by the Military Attachés of Middle Eastern states
  • The preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding on arms contracts with the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI), which comprises Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar; and legal questions around arms deals with this multilateral organisation
  • Press coverage of arms sales
  • Debates around a request from Somalia for Western arms, following an increased Soviet presence in Ethiopia
  • The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Ted Rowlands’ visit to Kenya and consultations with Kenyan and US officials on the state of affairs in East Africa, including the possibility of selling arms to Somalia
  • A meeting of French, British, US, and West German Foreign Ministers at the Quai d’Orsay to discuss the situation in East Africa, including arms sales to Somalia and the affairs of newly-independent Djibouti
  • A planned meeting with the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi covering affairs in Africa, including arms sales to Somalia and embargoes on South Africa
  • The Saudi position on arms sales to Somalia
  • Questions around making data on arms sales available to the public, and applications for clearance to release information on arms sales
  • A report on defence sales prospects in the Arab world to the year 1979, with a list of recent arms contracts in the Middle East
  • US-Soviet discussions on arms limitation in the Indian Ocean
  • HMG’s policy on applying arms embargoes
  • US President Jimmy Carter’s initiatives for arms limitation
  • US arms sales to Iran and Saudi Arabia
  • Questions around the sale of riot control equipment
  • Possible sales of warships and aircraft to Libya
  • Israeli concern around British arms sales to Arab countries