The U.S. is reviewing the sale of advanced weaponry to the United Arab Emirates, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
His comments come roughly two weeks after Israel and the UAE struck a landmark deal to establish formal diplomatic ties and dramatically deepen mutual economic cooperation.
“We will now continue to review that process to continue to make sure that we’re delivering them with the equipment that they need,” Mr. Pompeo said in Jerusalem, Bloomberg reported.
“We’ll do it in a way that preserves our commitment to Israel as well, I’m confident that both of these objectives can be achieved.”
Following last week’s announcement — that marked the third Arab nation after Egypt and Jordan to have established active diplomatic ties with Jerusalem — U.S. officials hinted that the UAE may now be able to obtain American weapons that were previously barred.
Despite the new establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Mr. Netanyahu continued to reject any U.S. sales of F-35 joint strike fighter jets to the UAE in an effort to maintain Israeli security. Israel has long opposed any UAE acquisition of the advanced American fighter jets.
On Monday, the prime minister reiterated his objection to the potential sale and said that “that this deal did not include Israel’s acceptance of any arms deal and I don’t know of any arms deal that has been agreed upon. It may be contemplated. Our position hasn’t changed.”
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