WASHINGTON – Despite the deep financial crisis in the United States, Washington has no plans to halt its foreign aid. The American administration recently asked the Congress to approve the full security aid to Israel, which stands at $2.775 billion, as part of the 2010 budget plan.
Outgoing Israeli Ambassador to Washington Salai Meridor expressed his appreciation Saturday night following the US administration's decision to include the full security aid in the budget plan.
"This move is an implementation of part of the memorandum of understanding for 10 years, which was signed between the two countries, and an expression of the ongoing American commitment to Israel's security and to guaranteeing its exceptional advantage," he said.
Despite the economic crisis, the Obama administration has no plans to renege on the Bush administration's commitment to provide Israel with aid for 10 years – starting in 2009.
As part of the aid, this year Israel will receive $2.5 billion, in 2010 - $2.775 billion, and in 2011 the sum will reach $3 billion. In total, the security aid Jerusalem is slated to receive from Washington stands at some $30 billion until 2019.
In addition, the US is expected to help the Israeli defense establishment develop defense systems against a variety of rockets and missiles – from Qassams to ballistic missiles.
Ambassador Meridor, who will end his term in Washington in the coming days, also expressed his appreciation for the ongoing cooperation in terms of the development of missile defense systems.
Discussions held in Washington recently revealed that despite the Pentagon's budget cuts, the administration and the Congress plan to continue investing and developing systems with Israel. The systems are aimed at defending against threats faced by both countries, including missile and rocket threats.
In the past few days Meridor met with senior US administration officials and expressed the Israeli government's gratitude and appreciation.
Israel had been concerned that the development of the Arrow 3 project would be halted due to the American commercial pressure. The missile is aimed at providing an additional defense level against ballistic missiles – including those which may be launched by Iran. The good news is that the administration will likely continue to financially support the existing plans.