U.S. Legislators End Persian Gulf Talks

Associated Press

A U.S. congressional team looking into dangers to ships in the Persian Gulf ended a fact-finding tour Monday after meeting with King Fahd, who reportedly was not pleased with opposition to his request for U.S. arms.

The delegation is headed by Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and includes 12 congressmen and 15 aides. They arrived in the Red Sea resort Sunday on a mission concerning U.S. reflagging of 11 Kuwaiti tankers. Reflagging would give Kuwaiti tankers the protection of U.S. warships against threats from the Iran-Iraq War.

Arab diplomatic sources in Taif said the Saudi monarch also raised the issue of congressional opposition to the kingdom’s bid to buy 1,600 sophisticated Maverick anti-tank missiles. The Administration withdrew a notification of sale to Congress in May in face of hostility on Capitol Hill after reports that the Saudi air force did not help the frigate Stark when it was attacked by Iraq. The sources said Fahd voiced disappointment over the Maverick issue.