The United States and the United Arab Emirates seek to have an initial agreement by December to sell F-35 stealth fighters to the Gulf state, according to Reuters.
The agreement is intended to be reached before the UAE National Day celebration on Dec. 2, sources close to the negotiations told Reuters. It will also reportedly prioritize preserving Israel’s “qualitative military edge” in the region, according to The Drive.
Israeli authorities have expressed concern over an F-35 deal, saying it could potentially weaken Israel’s military dominance in the Middle East.
“It’s not good for Israel that the plane is going around in other places. We need to talk to the Emiratis, to the Americans, and make sure that our security interests are being upheld,” Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, according to The Times Of Israel.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly privately approved U.S. plans for a deal with the UAE despite publicly opposing any F-35 sale, the New York Times reported.
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The latest developments on the sale come just over a month after the U.S. brokered a peace deal between Israel and the UAE, which normalized relations between the two countries. President Donald Trump told Fox News that he has “no problem” selling the F-35 to the UAE.
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