Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States and
the Government of Israel on Strategic Cooperation
November 30, 1981
After a few weeks of discussions between working groups, Israel's
Defense Minister Sharon and the U.S. Defense Secretary Weinberger signed on
30 November in Washington a memorandum of understanding on strategic
cooperation. The main objective was to deter Soviet threats in the Middle
East. There would be joint military exercises, land, sea and air; there
would also be planning for the establishment and maintenance of joint
readiness activities. Joint working teams will deal with specific military
issues. The Arab world and the Soviet Union were highly critical of this
agreement, which they felt would impair America's ability to deal fairly
with the peace process in the Middle East.
This memorandum of understanding reaffirms the common bonds of friendship
between the United States and Israel and builds on the mutual security
relationship that exists between the two nations. The parties recognize the
need to enhance strategic cooperation to deter all threats from the Soviet
Union to the region. Noting the longstanding and fruitful cooperation for
mutual security that has developed between the two countries, the parties
have decided to establish a framework for continued consultation and
cooperation to enhance their national security by deterring such threats to
the whole region.
The parties have reached the following agreements in order to achieve the
United States-Israel strategic cooperation, as set forth in this
memorandum, is designed against the threat to peace and security of the
region caused by the Soviet Union or Soviet-controlled forces from outside
the region introduced into the region. It has the following broad
- To enable the parties to act cooperatively and in a timely
manner to deal with the above-mentioned threat.
- To provide each other with military assistance for operations of
their forces in the area that may be required to cope with this threat.
- The strategic cooperation between the parties is not directed at
any state or group of states within the region. It is intended solely for
defensive purposes against the above-mentioned threat.
- The fields in which strategic cooperation will be carried out to
prevent the above-mentioned threat from endangering the security of the
- Military cooperation between the parties, as may be agreed by
- Joint military exercise, including naval and air exercises in the
Eastern Mediterranean Sea, as agreed upon by the parties.
- Cooperation for the establishment and maintenance of joint
readiness activities, as agreed upon by the parties.
- Other areas within the basic scope and purpose of this agreement, as may
be jointly agreed.
- Details of activities within these fields of cooperation shall be
worked out by the parties in accordance with the provisions of Article III
below. The cooperation will include, as appropriate, planning, preparations,
- The Secretary of Defense and the Minister of Defence shall
establish a coordinating council to further the purpose of this
- To coordinate and provide guidance to joint working
- To monitor the implementation of cooperation in the fields agreed upon
by the parties within the scope of this agreement.
- To hold periodic meetings, in Israel and the United States, for the
purposes of discussing and resolving outstanding issues and to further the
objectives set forth in this memorandum. Special meetings can be held at the
request of either party. The Secretary of Defense and Minister of Defence
will chair these meetings whenever possible.
- Joint working groups will address the following issues:
- Military cooperation between the parties, including joint
U.S.-Israel exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
- Cooperation for the establishment of joint readiness activities
including access to maintenance facilities and other infrastructure,
consistent with the basic purposes of this agreement.
- Cooperation in research and development, building on past cooperation
in this area.
- Cooperation in defence trade.
- Other fields within the basic scope and purpose of this agreement,
such as questions of prepositioning, as agreed by the coordinating
- The future agenda for the work of the joint working groups, their
composition and procedures for reporting to the coordinating council shall
be agreed upon by the parties.
This memorandum shall enter into force upon exchange of notification that
required procedures have been completed by each party. If either party
considers it necessary to terminate this memorandum of understanding, it may
do so by notifying the other party six months in advance of the effective
date of termination.
Nothing in the memorandum shall be considered as derogating from pervious
agreements and understandings between the parties.
The parties share the understanding that nothing in this memorandum is
intended to or shall in any way prejudge the rights and obligations which
devolve or may devolve upon either government under the charter of the
United Nations or under international law. The parties reaffirm their faith
in the purposes and principles of the charter of the United Nations and
their aspiration to live in peace with all countries in the region.