During negotiations with Israel, UAE returns against Stealth jets backdrop

AL DHAFRA AIRBASE, Abu Dhabi (Reuters) – Historical normalization talks between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, US officials spent one morning at an Abu Dhabi air base housing US stealth jets hoping to buy into the Gulf state of Israel’s objections.

1 for a group photo with Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the US President and US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien with Major General Fallah Al Qahtani of the UAE Air Force at Al-Dhafra Airbase in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. September 2020. REUTERS / Lisa Barrington

Jared Kushner, senior White House adviser, met Emirati military officials at the UAE’s Al Dhafra Airport, where the US highlighted some of its F-35 advanced stealth warfare, highlighting the UAE’s year-long campaign to obtain aircraft. Placed the planes.

Israel, which has an F-35, has stressed any other Middle East powers acquiring the aircraft, citing US laws that it should maintain military advantage in the region.

Kushner, the son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, came on a two-day visit to the Gulf countries on Monday when he made a two-day visit with the Israeli delegation for talks with UN officials along with his American broker.

The Gulf State, one of Washington’s closest Middle East affiliates, has acquired Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT.N), Which Israel has contested.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has said that the United States should remove “any obstacle” to normalization to sell F-35s to the UAE.

A UAE official said the visit to Emirati Air Base, which the US also uses, was not related to the F-35 issue near the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, while another praised three decades of US-UAE military cooperation. Of.

Major General Fallah al-Qahtani told reporters, “Our relationship is built on trust and mutual support.” “We have stood together to fight extremism in all its forms.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that the sale of the F-35 aircraft was not part of the agreement with the UAE, underscoring Israel’s concern for not undermining its access to advanced US weapons systems in the region.

“Americans accept that. Our situation has not changed,” Netanyahu said.

He said Robert O’Brien, a White House national security adviser, made it clear to him during a visit to Israel this week that the United States is committed to preserving Israel’s military edge in the volatile region.

The United States has sold the F-35 to allies including Turkey, South Korea, Japan and Israel.

Jamal al-Musharakh, the head of policy planning and international cooperation at the UAE’s foreign ministry, told reporters, “The F-35 issue is a long-standing request of the UAE and is in no way the driver to reach this agreement . ”

Kushner, who traveled from the UAE to Bahrain on Tuesday, said he expected another Arab country to normalize relations with Israel for months.

No other Arab state has said so far that it is following the UAE. Many have ruled out normalization under current circumstances. Only two other Arab states have established full relations with Israel – Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington and Dan Williams in Abu Dhabi, Alexander Cornwell in Dubai; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our standard:Thomson Reuters Trust Principals.

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