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Israel: We're not harming U.S. security

May 4, 2005 at 4:45 PM

JERUSALEM, May 4 (UPI) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom Wednesday denied his nation has harmed U.S. security.

Shalom spoke to Israel's Channel 1 TV following reports the United States had arrested Larry Franklin, an analyst at the U.S. Defense Department. Published reports indicated he is suspected of passing classified information to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israeli lobbyist.

The U.S. Justice Department said Franklin had worked in the offices of the secretary of defense and international security affairs, and on the Near East, South Asia, Northern Gulf, and Iran desks. He held at "Top Secret" security clearance and had access to classified information until his clearance was suspended last June.

During the TV interview, Shalom said, "Israel does not operate in the United States in any way that could harm U.S. security."

Shalom said Israel's relations with the United States "are very intimate" and include "exchanges of information of the most classified type ... it has no connection to this matter."

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