Policy on US arms sales to UAE unchanged, says Israel's Netanyahu

WION Web Team
Jerusalem Updated: Aug 18, 2020, 02:27 PM(IST)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Earlier, a similar statement was given by the country's intelligence minister Eli Cohen, after a report was published in a national newspaper that the Trump administration planned a 'giant' sale of advanced F-35 jets to United Arab Emirates as part of the Gulf country's move last week to normalise ties with Israel.

Israel has not softened its opposition to any US arms sales to the United Arab Emirates that could diminish its military superiority as part of the US-brokered normalisation of their ties, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Tuesday.

Earlier, a similar statement was given by the country's intelligence minister Eli Cohen, after a report was published in a national newspaper that the Trump administration planned a "giant" sale of advanced F-35 jets to United Arab Emirates as part of the Gulf country's move last week to normalise ties with Israel.

Also see:  How the world reacted to the Israel-UAE peace agreement

The US Embassy in Jerusalem and representatives of the UAE government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Under understandings dating back decades, Washington has refrained from Middle East arms sales that could blunt Israel's "qualitative military edge" (QME). This has applied to the F-35, denied to Arab states, while Israel has bought and deployed it.

"In the talks (on the UAE normalisation deal), Israel did not change its consistent positions against the sale to any country in the Middle East of weapons and defence technologies that could tip the (military) balance," Netanyahu's office said.

The Trump administration has signalled that UAE could clinch unspecified new US arms sales after last Thursday's normalisation announcement.

Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen, an observer in Netanyahu's security cabinet, said the decision-making forum had held no discussion about any changes to QME policy and that Israel had not agreed to any changes by the United States.

"Israel has not given its consent to coming along and changing the arrangement," Cohen told public radio station Kan.

Read in App