US, Israel narrow differences for new defence talks

Washington—The United States and Israel have narrowed their differences over what could be decisive negotiations this week to seal a multibillion-dollar military aid package for Washington’s top Middle East ally, officials said on Tuesday.
Raising hopes for removal of a key sticking point, Israel has signaled it may accept the Obama administration’s demand that US military funds, until now spent partly on Israeli arms, will eventually be spent entirely on US-made weapons, according to congressional sources.
It would mark a major concession by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after months of tense negotiations over the 10-year aid pact.
But Netanyahu, who has had a fraught relationship with President Barack Obama, has apparently decided it would be best to forge a deal with him rather than hoping for better terms from the next US president, according to officials on both sides. Obama leaves office in January.—Agencies

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