IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon today left on a working visit to Germany. He will meet with Chief of Defense of Germany General Wolfgang Schneiderhan, German Minister of Defense Peter Struck, and German Federal Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.
During his trip, Yaalon will visit Bundeswehr (German Army) bases, and hold work meetings with senior German military personnel.
Germany is one of five countries with which Israel has strategic defense links. The others are the US, Britain, France, and Turkey. Israel’s defense link with Germany centers around the construction and supply of three Israel Navy Dolphin submarines. The German government finances the entire cost of two of these submarines, and half of the third.
Israel is now asking for at least one more Dolphin submarine, but the German government is objecting, owing to overseas reports that Israel has either already installed missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads on the submarines, or is doing so at present.
Procurement of additional submarines will probably be discussed during Yaalon’s visit, scheduled to end on Wednesday.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on February 9, 2004