Washington: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Tuesday that the United States planned to sell top-of-the-line F-35 fighter jets to the UAE as part of a $23.37 billion package.
“The UAE’s historic agreement to normalize relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the region’s strategic landscape,” Pompeo said in a statement.
The US State Department said: "This proposed sale [of the F-35s] will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important regional partner. The UAE has been, and continues to be, a vital US partner for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.
In an interaction with the media on September 15, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash had said: “The UAE seeks like any country that takes its military seriously, to modernise its military, always, so our request for the F-35 and other systems pre-dates this agreement [Abraham Accords]."
The UAE Embassy in Washington said on Tuesday, the sale of the F-35 "is consistent with the US National Defence Strategy to build and expand America’s network of alliances and partnerships to share the burden of collective security".