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    US Govt seeks $3b for Israeli military aid

    The Bush Administration will ask Congress to give Israel more than $3 billion in military assistance in the fiscal year 2005.

    This is $85 million more than in 2004 and is in line with an agreement which reduces economic assistance to Israel while adding to the military component of the package.

    Apart from the annual military and economic assistance, the United States is also guaranteeing billions of dollars in international loans being sought by Israel.

    The State department says the Bush administration is committed to enhancing Israel's security.

    It said the United States would continue to seek funding for future US participation in selected joint research and development projects with Israel.

    The announcement was made after talks in Israel last Wednesday and Thursday between senior US and Israeli officials.

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