US State Department gives the nod to $23B arms deal with UAE

US State Department gives the nod to $23B arms deal with UAE

Mike Pompeo has said that the U.S. is making UAE’s defense stronger against threats from Iran

The U.S. State Department Okayed a potential foreign military sale of 50 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) and MQ-9 unmanned systems to the UAE. Congress has been informed about the intent to sell the military equipment. Israel has expressed some concerns about the potential deal with the UAE. The deal is yet to be finalized and the equipment sold and the value of the final package can be different eventually.

The deal, which also includes other military equipment, is worth a staggering $23 billion. The deal comes when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a peace deal with Israel and is normalizing ties.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that U.S. recognizes the threats to UAE from Iran after the recent deal with Israel and needs to improve its defense capabilities.

“This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE’s need for advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo also called the peace deals between Israel, UAE and Bahrain as a once in a generation event that will transform the region.

“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. “Our adversaries, especially those in Iran, know this and will stop at nothing to disrupt this shared success.”

The Secretary of State also said that the U.S. maintained its commitment to ensuring that Israel keeps its military technological superiority over its neighboring countries.

“The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with U.S. partners in a manner fully consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge,” he said.

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