F-35 Diplomacy: Israel won’t oppose sale of US-made F-35 jets to UAE

Jerusalem: – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Bennie Gantz announced that Israel would not be opposed to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) buying advanced weaponry from the United States. Although, both the leaders have not openly mentioned the deal, it is revealed that Israel has consented to the US-UAE deal for F-35 fighter jets. The US defence department has clarified that no compromise will be made with Israeli security while making any arms sale to the Arab countries. Meanwhile, although, the United States has agreed to sell F-35 fighter jets to UAE, it is said to have reserved its decision regarding the sale to Qatar.    

Israel-F-35Historical diplomatic relations were established between Israel and UAE, in September. Over the last one and a half months, both the countries have signed agreements for visa services, tourism and fuel cooperation. But Israeli Defence Minister Bennie Gantz had bitterly opposed the US- UAE deal for the F-35 stealth fighter jets. The stand of the Israeli Defence Minister was that the super-advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets, which are there in the Israeli air force fleet, should not be there in the fleets of any other Middle Eastern country.  

But a meeting was held, in the United States, between the defence ministers of the UAE and Israel. It is being informed that US Secretary for Defence Mark Esper reassured Israeli Defence Minister Benni Gantz, regarding the Israeli security. Esper clarified during the meeting that even if the United States affects the sale of any weaponry to UAE or Bahrain, it will not compromise on the Israeli security. Thereafter, the Israeli Defence Minister, on his return to Israel, announced that Israel would not be opposed to the US-UAE deal for advanced weapon systems.  

It is claimed that with the consent given by the Israeli Defence Minister, the blocks have been cleared for a multi-million-dollar deal between the United States and UAE for sale of F-35 fighter jets. It is being said that the agreement for the deal, will be signed between the United States and UAE, in December. The US presidential elections are scheduled to be held in the next week and it is claimed that the United States is in showing urgency, with a view that the election results should not affect the US-UAE deal. The US Secretary for Defence will soon be proceeding on a visit to the Middle East.  

The United States is supplying these F-35 fighter jets for action against Iran supported Houthi rebels, in Yemen and a similar agreement will be signed even with Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the talk in the Middle East media is that with one consent from Israel, the United States will affect a sale of F-35s to UAE as well as Saudi Arabia. The increasing cooperation of Qatar with Turkey and Iran and is claimed to be the reason for opposition from Israel, Saudi and UAE along with the United States. As the same time, Israel had raised the issue, with the United States, regarding the assistance provided by Qatar to the terrorist organisation Hamas, in the Gaza Strip. This seems to be the reason that Qatar has been omitted from the F-35 deal. 

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