Arms supplies to Palestinians to be agreed with Israel, Russian defense minister says

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Friday that any Russian weapons supplies to the Palestinians must be agreed with Israel and transported through Israeli territory, the Interfax news agency reported.

The chief of the general staff, Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, on Thursday had held out the possibility of weapons deliveries to the Palestinians after next month's talks with Hamas leaders in Moscow.

"Any supply of (military) technology to the Palestinians can be fulfilled only with Israel's agreement and through its territory," Ivanov told reporters during a visit to a military unit in the Moscow region, Interfax reported.

"This question is being considered only provisionally," he was quoted as saying.

Interfax had said Thursday that the Palestinian Authority plans to buy two Mi-17 transport helicopters and 50 armored personnel carriers from Russia, reports Interfax.

I.L.

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