United States has approved the sale of 23.37 billion dollar worth advanced defence capabilities to the United Arab Emirates, including F-35 Lightning II aircrafts, MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions.
The Donald Trump administration on Tuesday notified Congress of the sale.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement said: "Today, I directed the Department to formally notify Congress of our intent to authorize the UAE's proposed purchase of several advanced capabilities that are worth USD 23.37 billion, for up to 50 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, valued at USD 10.4 billion; up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems, valued at USD 2.97 billion; and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, valued at USD 10 billion. 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."
The sale followed a US-brokered agreement in September, in which UAE agreed to normalise relations with Israel.
Pompeo said that the UAE's agreement to normalise relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the region's strategic landscape.
"Our adversaries, especially those in Iran, know this and will stop at nothing to disrupt this shared success. 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.The State Secretary also stated that this announcement echoes the enhanced defense cooperation of the US with Egypt in the wake of the 1979 Camp David Accords, as well as our closer security relationship with Jordan following its normalization of ties with Israel in 1994.
Sudan, Bahrain, and UAE are the recent countries that have agreed to normalise relations with Israel. The first two Arab countries to recognise Israel were -- Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
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