Issue 51 - 21 Jul 1981
THE CONTINUING uncertainty over the US supply of the five AWACS surveillance aircraft to Saudi Arabia is causing increasing impatience in the kingdom. Prince Sultan, the Minister of Defence, has delivered a blunt warning that Saudi Arabia would look to other countries for arms supplies if the AWACS supply is not made soon. He added that there is a limit to the amount of time Saudi Arabia is prepared to wait for the deal to be concluded, although the Minister did not specify a time scale. Crown Prince Fahd's public comments have not been quite so harsh except that, speaking to a Lebanese newspaper, the Crown Prince is reported to have said; 'We cannot say more than that our relations are good, while we wait to see that American officials understand our needs'. Prince Fahd's remarks suggest that if America does fail to come through, Saudi-US relations would be severely damaged.

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