ReaganCongress will have 30 days to review a proposal by the Reagan Administration to sell civilian communications equipment to an Arab consortium which include the Palestine Liberation Organization and Libya, as well as Soviet client states as Syria and South Yemem but also pro-American states as Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

A detailed letter has been sent by the Administration to members of Congress assuring them that the $79 million deal for the 22-member ARABSAT consortium did not mean that the U.S. was recognizing the PLO and that the equipment would not be used in an Arab satellite system which might have military capabilities. The deal was pulled back last November in the face of Congressional criticism that the equipment might have military capabilities.

The Administration notified Congress of the proposed sale last October 30 to comply with the Arms Export Control Act but Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on November 3 that he was not aware of it.

Secretary of State Alexander Haig, confronted with more Congressional questions about ARABSAT said on November 4 that the proposal was being withdrawn pending further study. A State Department spokesman said yesterday that following “our consultations with Congress, we have no reason to believe that Congress will disapprove the case.”

Will Issue License To Ford Aerospace

If Congress, after its 30-day review, approves of the sale, the Administration intends to issue an export license to Ford Aerospace, manufacturer of the communications equipment. Under the Arms Export Control Act, the license needed to ship the equipment abroad is subject to a Congressional veto. The equipment is actually being sold to the French firm Aerospatiale which is assembling three satellites for the consortium.

According to plans, the first satellite is to be launched in early 1984. It will provide the Arab world with more than 10,000 telephone circuits and a television channel. Negotiations have been under way for a second satellite to be launched by the U.S. space shuttle in mid-1984.