The Trump administration informally gave a required notification to Congress on its decision to sell top-of-the-line F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates following its recognition of Israel. The US and UAE aim to have a letter of agreement for the sale ready in time for the UAE National Day on Dec. 2.
After initially baulking at the sale, Israel dropped its opposition upon the receipt of administration guarantees of advanced military systems to preserve the IDF’s qualitative edge in the Middle East. Talks on those items took place last week in Washington between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. The discussions continued during the US defense secretary’s visit to Israel on Thursday. Challenged on the US sale to the UAE, Netanyahu commented “We all face a common threat.”