CURTIS WILLIAMS and JUHEL BROWNE
Cabinet yesterday decided to purchase attack helicopters from
Israel. Multiple Cabinet sources indicated that the decision
was made at an extraordinary Cabinet meeting held yesterday
The meeting began at 1 pm and ended just around 4 pm.
There was no post-Cabinet press conference.
For some time now Prime Minister Patrick Manning had promised
to buy helicopters with attack capabilities and sources said
the purchase was one of the main reasons for Mannings
visit to the Jewish state in November.
The Guardian has confirmed that a note was taken to Cabinet
two weeks ago and sent to the finance and general purposes
committee of the Cabinet. The committee eventually agreed
to the purchase and sent it back to Cabinet, which met today
to approve it.
Cabinet which is the grouping of MPs and senators that hold
ministerial posts sets government policy and normally meets
on a Thursday at Whitehall was not set to meet until early
It had not met last week and was not originally scheduled
to do so this week.
However, a source said yesterdays meeting was not unusual
as the Cabinet has in the past met just before years
end to clear up its agenda.
meeting is to approve certain things that are necessary before
the new year, a source said.
After yesterdays Cabinet meeting Manning taped his New
Years Day message which is to be aired on television
Manning is expected to speak about the nations record
high crime rate and other national issues.
Background: The Trinidad and Tobago Regiment has in the past
purchased significant military equipment from Israel including
its standard attack weapon the Galilee assault rifle.