Obama signs bill expanding US cooperation with Israel on security and trade



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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed a bill deepening U.S.-Israeli cooperation and says the legislation reinforces "critical defense and security programs."

Obama says the legislation also lays the groundwork for increased trade and cooperation between the U.S. and Israel.

However, Obama says his administration will interpret certain sections in a manner that does not interfere with his constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy. That includes a section requiring the administration to provide Congress certain diplomatic communications.

The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act increases the value of emergency U.S. weaponry kept in Israel by $200 million, to a total of $1.8 billion. It promotes closer U.S.-Israeli links in energy, water, homeland security, alternative fuel technology and cybersecurity.

It also offers a verbal guarantee of Israel maintaining a qualitative military edge over its neighbors.

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