Israel has no objection to UAE getting F35s: Foreign minister

Picture retrieved from lockheedmartin/Website
Picture retrieved from lockheedmartin/Website

Jerusalem - The US has in principle agreed to sell the Lockheed Martin fifth-generation stealth jets that the UAE has long been aspiring to add to its defence arsenal.



by

Anjana Sankar

Published: Fri 27 Nov 2020, 9:38 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 Nov 2020, 10:09 PM

Israel has no objection to the UAE acquiring F35 fighter jets, and does not think that it will upset his country’s military superiority in the region, Israel’s foreign minister has said.

“We are OK with that. And that is not an impediment or obstacle for the Abraham Accords,” Gabi Ashkenazi, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

The US has in principle agreed to sell the Lockheed Martin fifth-generation stealth jets that the UAE has long been aspiring to add to its defence arsenal. In a final push to the arms sale, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted early in November that his administration has notified the Congress of the proposed sale of F35s to the UAE.

The proposed sale includes 50 F35s and accompanying equipment worth $10.4 billion. Once completed, the UAE will be the first Arab country to acquire the advanced fighter jets.

Ashkenazi said Israel has no concerns in the matter as the US government has a “very long and strong commitment” to preserving the Israeli Defence forces’ qualitative military edge.

“It is a commitment that still exists. I can tell you that after several meetings with the US Defence establishment, we feel that we got the right answer and we are satisfied with the answers we got.”

“And we have to say that the UAE is not our enemy, we are not sharing a border or past hostilities. So, we are OK with that,” he added.

anjana@khaleejtimes.com


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