US and Israel sign record $38bn military aid deal
Sept.15, NY: The United States has signed a record $38bn deal to provide Israel with military assistance over a 10-year period - the largest such agreement ever by the US with any country.
Following 10 months of frequently tense negotiations, the two allies finalised the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a signing ceremony on Wednesday in Washington DC.
"Both Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu and I are confident that the new MOU will make a significant contribution to Israel's security in what remains a dangerous neighbourhood," US President Barack Obama said in a statement, according to Reuters news agency.
Under the terms, Israel will receive $3.8bn a year from the US - up from the $3.1bn Washington currently gives Israel annually under a 10-year deal that ends in 2018.
The agreement was described as the "single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in US history", but it also involves major concessions by the Israeli government, which will no longer be able to seek additional annual funds from the US Congress over and above the new package.
The Oslo Times International News Network